Copy

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. 

The information contained in this newsletter is aimed at disability service providers.


 

Issue 221, 28 July 2015

In this edition:

  1. BSWAT update
  2. Update for Australian Disability Enterprises operating in and around NDIS trial sites
  3. Corporate governance and the NDIS — are you ready?
  4. National Disability Services — ADE website
  5. Research into Australia's social enterprise sector
  6. Step forward for disability access and inclusion

BSWAT update

Australian Human Rights Commission exemption
 

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) held a hearing on 14 July 2015 to consider the appeal lodged by People with Disability Australia against the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) decision of 30 April 2015 to grant an interim temporary exemption for the use of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT). On 28 July 2015, the AAT set aside the AHRC decision and referred the decision back to the AHRC for reconsideration. This means, from 30 April 2015, there has not been an exemption from certain provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) for the use of the BSWAT in effect. AAT decisions are published on the following link.

The AHRC is currently considering the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) primary application for a temporary exemption from certain provisions of the DDA. On 25 June 2015, DSS wrote to the AHRC amending its application for a further 12-month exemption for the use of the BSWAT. The amendment aligned the temporary exemption, if granted by the AHRC, to the transition timeframe set out in the consent variation to the Supported Employment Services Award 2010. The DSS application and further letter are published on the AHRC website

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) still paying wages based on BSWAT assessments should continue moving to an alternative approved wage assessment tool as soon as possible.
 

Fair Work Commission


A consent order varying the Supported Employment Services Award 2010 was made by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on 5 June 2015. The consent variation removes the BSWAT as an approved wage assessment tool. The consent variation requires ADEs still paying wages based on a BSWAT assessment to have informed the FWC by 6 July 2015 of their intention to transition to another approved wage assessment tool, and the name of that tool. The consent variation requires ADEs to complete transition to another approved wage assessment tool by 31 October 2015. If an ADE is unable to complete the transition to the approved wage assessment tool it has chosen before 31 October 2015, the ADE must apply to the FWC before 31 October 2015 for approval to use the further transitional period until 29 February 2016.

Work on developing a new productivity-based wage tool for use in the supported employment sector continues through the FWC conciliation process.
 

BSWAT Payment Scheme


The Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Act 2015 (Cth) has passed through the Parliament and received Royal Assent on 30 June 2015.

DSS will provide further information about the BSWAT Payment Scheme, including information on how to register for the Scheme, in the near future.
 
Workers at an Australian Disability Enterprise

Packaging work at an Australian Disability Enterprise

Update for ADEs operating in and around NDIS trial sites

Funding of ADEs is gradually transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  

The NDIS is managed by the National Disability Insurance Agency. From 1 July 2015, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will fund supported employment for participants of the NDIS who work in ADEs. Once a supported employee has a plan approved under the NDIS, funding to support them in employment from DSS ceases as they will be eligible to receive funding under the NDIS. 

The impact for ADEs operating in and around NDIS trial sites will be:

  • You will only be able to claim DSS funding for new supported employees where they do not meet the age requirements and residence requirements under the NDIS.
  • You will only be able to claim DSS funding for existing supported employees where they do not already have a participant plan in effect under the NDIS.

Further information is available in the new grant agreement between DSS and ADEs. An example of the new grant agreement is available on the Department’s website. In particular, Section 15 Transitioning to the NDIS, in the Operational Guidelines to the grant agreement, describe the process to follow in relation to the NDIS and DSS funding.

In the event that your employees transition to the NDIS, your organisation is advised to approach the NDIA who will be able to assist in processing claims for participants of the NDIS on a fee for service basis. However, ADEs must make sure that a supported employee with an NDIS approved plan in place, is exited from DSS funding before claiming any funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency for the employee. This will avoid overpayment of DSS funding.

For further information about the NDIS, including provider registration, IT systems and plan management, please visit the NDIS website or call 1800 800 110.

If you have any questions about transitioning clients from DSS funding to the NDIS you should contact your DSS grant agreement manager.

Corporate governance and the NDIS — are you ready?

A free online learning resource designed to assist service providers and Boards of Management preparing for the NDIS is now available.

Funded by the Australian Government, and developed by the Australian Catholic University, this online training resource is a DSS initiative focusing on corporate governance. Strong corporate governance is required for the long term well-being of any organisation. It is particularly critical for organisations meeting the challenges of NDIS transition.

There are three online modules: 

1. Strategy
2. Finance
3. Becoming a service provider of choice.

 If you haven’t already accessed this training, we would recommend giving it a go. To undertake the free training, register thought the following link.

National Disability Services — ADE website

National Disability Services has created an interactive map listing all ADEs.

The website is a great way for potential customers to find a business and to make contact with you.

The success of the interactive map and directory is based on the quality of the information it contains. It is important that all ADEs check their listings, links to websites, phone numbers and email addresses to ensure the information is current and correct. 

Once you’ve reviewed your organisation’s information, you can request updates or changes by emailing Paul Musso.

Checking your business lines and updating contact information means that potential customers can easily contact you to discuss their business needs.

Research into Australia’s social enterprise sector


Social Traders and Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Social Impact (CSI) are undertaking a study of the changing scope and needs of Australian social enterprises. The Finding Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector (FASES) 2015 research project represents the second census of social enterprise ever to be carried out in Australia, and will provide rich research content and critical insights into the social enterprise movement. It is anticipated that the data will be used to inform policy and planning by government, philanthropy, not-for-profits and social enterprises.

The research has two components. The qualitative part of the research has been completed and was undertaken through 13 focus groups held across Australia; the findings are captured in an interim report. The quantitative research is currently being carried out via a 30 minute online survey.

Social Traders and CSI are aiming to attract over 500 social enterprises to complete the survey.

Social Traders believe that the first FASES study has helped to build the social enterprise community and has helped people to better understand and support social enterprise. The 2009/10 study has been downloaded or circulated in print over 15,000 times and Social Traders estimate that the study has influenced the establishment of $50 million in public and private investment into social enterprise development. The study has also provided a definition of social enterprise that has been used by many Australian governments as well as the OECD.
 
Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Mayor Troy Pickard; Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP and Maroondah City Council representatives Mr Jack Mullholland and Mr Grant

Pictured above (left to right): Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Mayor Troy Pickard; Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP and Maroondah City Council representatives Mr Jack Mullholland and Mr Grant

Step forward for disability access and inclusion

DSS was proud to sponsor this year’s Disability Access and Inclusion Award category at the National Awards for Local Government (NALG). The category recognises the important contribution local governments make in implementing the principles of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (NDS).

Maroondah City Council from Victoria is the winner of the award and has also won the overall 2015 National Award for Excellence in Local Government. The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP presented Maroondah City Council with the national award at a function at Parliament House on 16 June 2015.

Maroondah City Council won the award for their Changing Places—Changing Lives initiative, which aims to provide fully accessible toilets in key locations. Changing Places toilets include unique features which are accessible to a broader range of people with significant disability. Changing Places toilets feature a tracking hoist system, a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, an access ramp, curtains for extra privacy and larger interiors for wheelchair manoeuvrability. The Disability Access and Inclusion category award was presented to Maroondah City Council by Mr Michael Sukkar MP, Federal Member for Deakin on behalf of Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services.

The East Gippsland Shire Council, Victoria, was Highly Commended for their initiative the East Gippsland All Abilities Playground. This  initiative promotes inclusive practice by supporting participation of people with disability, their families and carers in the social, cultural, recreational and sporting life of the community. The playground was built using universal design principles and the views of people with disability, their families sand carers were integral to the project’s design and delivery.

Both these projects represent significant steps towards improving the accessibility of the built environment for people with disability, an important area of focus for the NDS.

A recent media releases about the NALG awards can be found on the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development website.
A copy of the strategy can be found on the NDS webpage. DSS is now working on the second NDS implementation plan alongside Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions.

If you would like further information please email nationaldisabilityst@dss.gov.au

Copyright © 2015 DSS Disability.
 ISSN 1448-8256

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp