Providing people with a disability and their support staff information on a direct employment arrangement

Who is this for?

Information for people with a disability, parents, partners and support workers.

Information for disability support staff.

What is this about?

How people with a disability can directly employ their support workers.

How support staff can work directly for people with a disability.


Giving people more choice, flexibility and control about how and when their support is provided.

Tailoring support to suit your lifestyle.

Meet some direct employers

I’ve been a direct employer for quite a while. I advertise, interview and recruit my own support staff. As an employer I pay their wages and superannuation and produce their payment summaries at the end of the financial year. For me, direct employment provides greater choice and control in how, when and what I use my supports for.

– Peta

I employ my own support staff. I have a bookkeeper who undertakes the payroll, tax and other financial aspects. I have found recruiting support staff gives me greater choice and flexibility in who I have for my support staff, and how they can support my lifestyle.

– Karen

My 22 year old daughter has a disability. We find that by directly employing her support staff we’re able to support her continue to develop, learn and participate in a wide range of different activities with her peers

– Susan

My partner has a degenerative disability and requires personal care and general support. Having previously run businesses I am familiar with the requirements of being an employer. Directly employing staff provides the control and support we’re more comfortable with.

– Max

One of my four children has a disability. We have a busy lifestyle and our plans and routines are important. Being able to employ our own support staff has ensured we have more flexibility and can rely on our staff to fit in with our family whatever a day might bring.

– Arti

Meet some support staff

I’m Scott and have been supporting Peta for a while now. She’s a great employer and we have a lot of laughs together. I enjoy working directly for Peta rather than through an agency. There are benefits for both of us.

– Scott

I’m Ingrid and have been directly employed by Karyn for several years. I’m one of five support staff she has in her team. We all have an agreed routine and roster, however we can make changes to suit each other. We have a close working relationship and she is a good employer.

– Ingrid

I went to school with Susan and was a few years ahead of her. She is now my employer but we’re also great friends. As her employee I expect and receive the same entitlements I would in any employment situation.

– Sally

Max and his partner have a team of support staff. It allows us to work the hours that suit. We all work together to make sure his partner’s needs are met. Max is an experienced employer and provides good employment terms and conditions and a fun Christmas party every year.

– Lisa

I work within a family environment supporting a child with a disability. There’s lots of communication and talking to make sure everything is happening according to plan and behaviour support is consistent. I would describe it as a close and fulfilling employment arrangement, that even includes family vacations!

– Wendi