Editors Note: This is a very difficult issue but needs confronting urgently. It is central to the NDIS that disabled participants have choice and control and this means the workers must be flexible and able to work for short periods when that is required.

It also means that care must be provided out of normal working hours and on weekends – disabled people need to have lives out of hours and on weekends like everyone else. However this means it is time for society to confront the issue of penalty rates and minimum shifts.

I’m not suggesting what the solution is, but a conversation is required between disabled people, the support workers and service providers. At the moment the conversation is only being held between support workers and service providers and the most important people are once again being largely left out. So lets all sit down together and come up with workable solutions.


The safety of people with disability will be at risk under workplace proposals being considered as part of the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Disability advocates believe a plan to radically cut conditions for disability support workers will result in increased levels of abuse and neglect of Australia’s most vulnerable people.

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One of the biggest policy reforms in generations is about to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

Advocates and unions claim workers’ rights are under attack in the Fair Work Commission where employers are seeking to reduce minimum shifts, remove regular hours for part-time employees and increase hours without paying penalties.

Employers have argued award conditions need to be reformed to meet the demand for more flexible services under the NDIS which started to roll out across Australia last month.

Disability support workers will be forced into ‘sweat shop’ conditions under proposed changes.

Matthew Bowden, co-chief executive of peak advocacy group People With Disability Australia, has raised concerns that the erosion of conditions could lead to co-called zero hours contracts where an employer can vary an employee’s hours, anywhere from full-time to zero hours with no notice.

The contracts have been controversial in the UK and were banned under legislation passed in New Zealand this year.

Mr Bowden said the Uber-style approach was unlikely to attract workers to a

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