One in three disability workers want to leave the sector because of low wages and poor conditions

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Nurses Support Workers Scaled 1

A major survey of nearly 2,500 disability support workers has found almost one third (31%) of respondents want to leave the sector within the next 12 months.

The survey, by unions representing sector workers – ASU, HSU, UWU and AWU – found nearly a third (31%) wanted to leave their jobs because of negative workplace culture, and nearly one quarter (21%) wanted to leave for more pay.

The findings follow the release of a recent report by the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS which found there is a shortfall of 83,000 full-time workers in the sector.

Ms Monique Earsman, Executive Director, Catholic Social Services Australia, said the survey shows a sector demoralised and at breaking point.

“We have got a situation where one in three disability workers want to leave the sector because of low wages and poor conditions,” Ms Earsman said.

“What has become crystal clear is that there is a major crisis in one of Australia’s most important sectors.

“The NDIS is one of the greatest reforms to disability services in decades, but as workers leave the sector it is being undermined and its capacity to deliver vital services is being gutted.

“Disability workers are undervalued and this is having a devastating impact on the people they care for,” Ms Earsman said.

The survey has found that COVID 19 has had a major impact on workers:

  • Nearly a fifth of respondents (18%) had contracted COVID-19 since November 2021,
  • 44% used their paid leave for their recovery, and
  • a further 28% had no access to any paid leave or government payments.

PDF version

NDIS faces breaking point as support workers eye other employment, The Catholic Leader

Disability workforce at breaking point: Catholic Social Services, CathNews

Disability workforce at breaking point, Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace

Media Contact: Michael Salmon | 0417 495 018

PO Box 6067, O’Connor ACT 2602. T 02 6285 1366 | E

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