Editorial update (1/03/2017)
Hireup is now registered with the NDIS as a Provider of Supports in NSW. Registration is done state-by-state and the organisation is working on becoming registered in the remaining states with ACT and SA up next.
But the journey to being registered wasn’t always straight forward for Hireup. In a nutshell, the NDIA used to place restrictions on how much people with disability could pay their support workers, which Hireup felt was an unnecessary limitation of the choice and control for people seeking support. This is why Hireup chose not to be registered with the NDIS at the start.
When the NDIA changed its Terms of Business for greater choice and control however, Hireup was able to register as a provider knowing that the values of its community would remain intact.
If you’re interested to learn more, the article below is from Hireup right at the start of its NDIS registration journey.
We recently wrote about how we’ve chosen not be registered with the NDIA as a service provider at this stage, or “Provider of Supports” as it’s formally known. We imagine this will change, and are in conversation with the NDIA about becoming registered, but we’re often asked why we’ve made this choice for the time being so thought we’d take a minute to explain it.
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The NDIA places restrictions on how much people with disability can pay their support workers. Once a service provider is registered with the NDIA, people getting services through that provider can only pay, or be charged, up to a maximum hourly rate set by the NDIA for support workers, and cannot go above it.
While we maintain a base level of pay at Hireup to ensure quality and worker conditions, we do not want to cap the amount a worker can be paid. The decision to pay a worker higher rates should be at the discretion of the person engaging them for support.
We strongly advocate for fair pay through the platform and educate our users as to their rights and obligations. This goes to the core of our work to fully empower people with disability through information, flexibility and choice.
Hireup has been specifically designed to give people maximum control when it comes to managing and paying their workers, and this is just one of those ways.
Our hourly starting rate comes in around $5-$7 an hour *below* the NDIA’s standard weekday rate for support services. This is because our admin fees are so low compared to traditional agencies and disability service providers. And that’s great for people seeking support through our platform. It can easily save someone thousands of dollars a year over traditional agency prices – savings that can then be used to pay for additional hours of support – which is something we’re pretty proud of.
From there, Hireup’s unique pay scale includes four levels beyond our base rate, giving people the ability to pay workers over and above the NDIA rate if they want to, which (from what we’re hearing) some do.
The reason the NDIA sets a maximum hourly rate which people with disability of registered providers can be charged is to ensure that traditional providers don’t overcharge or price-gouge when supplying support workers to people with NDIS funding in these early days of the Scheme’s implementation, and that’s fair enough.
This challenge has arisen because the Hireup model is so new, ground-breaking, innovative and empowers our users to take charge for themselves. But the good news is we are working closely with the NDIA staff – who have been very supportive – to achieve accreditation in a way that won’t compromise the flexibility of our service for our community.
And in the meantime, it is important to know that not being registered with the NDIS does not limit us. We are able to support all forms of funding as we work towards registration. If you have questions about how to use your NDIS funding through Hireup, this post might help.