Questions

What is direct employment? Click here for answer

Direct employment occurs when a person with disability directly employs their support worker, that is, without going through a disability support agency. This means the person with a disability becomes the legal employer of their support workers and has the responsibilities of an employer. The support worker is directly employed by the person they are supporting, not a separate agency.

What are the benefits of direct employment for a person with a disability? Click here for answer

The benefits will differ for everyone. However, people with a disability, parents and partners already directly employing their support workers say the benefits include the following:

  • more choice about their support workers and the type of person they want
  • more ability to get the type of workers that suit the person, their preferences and lifestyle
  • direct communication with their support worker about arrangements
  • more flexibility in the days and hours, including start and finish times, of their support workers
  • better ability to train staff to suit their needs
  • more consistent and reliable support workers
  • increased control about what tasks their support workers assist them with
  • better value for money because you control how your funds are spent
  • more scope to pay their support workers for the type of support that is being provided
  • more indipendence
  • improved satisfaction with their support arrangements.
What are the disadvantages of direct employment for the person with a disability/employer? Click here for answer

As a direct employer you become legally responsible, like any other employer, to comply with requirements such as tax, superannuation, insurance, reporting, and so forth. Some people may consider these requirements a disadvantage.

Who pays? Click here for answer

Some people with a disability receive a funding package from the government to assist in their day-to-day living, such as from the Department of Human Services or from Disability Care Australia. There is now the capacity for the funds to be provided directly to the person with a disability to purchase and manage their own support in Victoria, and possibly in other States and Territories. This can include directly employing their support workers.

Why might you consider direct employment? Click here for answer

Some people with a disability, parents or partners find that directly employing support workers suits them better than using an agency to employ their support workers. Likewise, some support workers prefer to be directly employed by the person with a disability rather than having a disability support agency in the ‘middle’ of the arrangement.

What are the benefits of direct employment for the support worker (employee)? Click here for answer

The benefits will differ for everyone. However, support workers who are already directly employed say that the benefits include the following:

  • more direct communication and faster decisions
  • more flexibility in working arrangements
  • depending on the arrangements, the potential for improved terms, conditions and remuneration.
What are the disadvantages of direct employment for the support worker/employee? Click here for answer

Working directly for a person with a disability may be different to working for a larger disability support agency. For example, there may not be the same level of access to training or a career path.