This resource covers engaging a support worker as an EMPLOYEE.
We have another resource hiring an independent support worker directly when they have their own ABN.
I'm self managing my NDIS plan, how can I employ my own support workers?
Many people with disabilities feel more in control of their life if they can choose their own support workers and manage the employment arrangements themselves.
When you self-manage your NDIS Plan, there are unique ways that you can hire a support worker (other than engage a care company) to help you achieve the goals set out in your NDIS Plan.
- Directly employ a support worker OR
- Engage an independent support worker as a contractor if they have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
For every worker that you engage personally, you need to look at the specific working arrangement to determine whether that person is an employee or a contractor.
Why does this matter?
Because your legal, financial and tax obligations are different if your worker is an employee or a contractor.
This resource covers employing your own support workers. If you need to know more about engaging your own support worker with an ABN, check out our resource.
How to know if your support worker is your employee or a contractor?
The ATO website has a great tool that asks you a series of questions to determine whether you are engaging a worker as an employee or contractor for tax and superannuation purposes.
Are they a contractor?
Then they simply need an ABN and can invoice you.
Are they an employee?
Then you have additional tax and super responsibilities which we mention below.
Use the ATO Website Check Tool to determine if your support worker is an employee or contractor.
Common factors that influence whether your support worker is an Employee or Contractor can be found on this resource by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Why Employ your Support Workers?
Employment is often a great option if you have a large funding package and will be hiring a number of support workers for extended periods. Direct employment of these workers may give you the ultimate control over the people who work with you, the hours they work and the tasks that they perform. Employing your own support workers give you a sense of stability and permanence.
You also know with certainty that you have the support for the hours you need it. No last minute no shows or cancellations.
You do not need to directly employ all of the staff who deliver your NDIA funded supports.
Employing your own Support Workers
Employing your own staff can be a big change for people who have been used to having support workers directly from a service provider.
However, you do not have to do everything yourself, you can delegate many of the admin and day-to-day management tasks, e.g. you can pay a bookkeeper to handle a lot of the administrative responsibilities: payroll, tax, workers compensation, superannuation, insurances.
If you choose to employ your own support workers, you need to be aware that there are legal responsibilities that come along with being an employer such as:
- Recruiting and training your staff: Making sure your staff have the right skills, qualifications and training
- Withholding staff tax and paying it to the ATO
- Withholding and paying superannuation
- Making sure that you have workers compensation and other insurances
- Negotiating the rate of pay and conditions and ensuring compliance with the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award 2010 or other relevant award
- Paying wages on the due date, and giving out group certificates at the end of the financial year
- Following work health and safety obligations
- Making sure your workers have a current National Police Clearance, as well as a Working with Children/Working with Vulnerable People Screening checks if required.
Before you get to the legal and tax requirements (withholding tax number, super, insurance etc), you need to decide if this is the best option for you.
MyPlace WA has created a comprehensive resource that addresses the tasks, decisions and requirements that you will be facing in order to employ a support worker. These include
- Planning your support needs, what duties are required, and how much is your budget
- Duty statements (what must they do), employment adverts and application forms
- What kind of support worker you want, employee interviews and picking the right workers
- Work safety, worker management and termination
The Legal and Tax Stuff
After you have decided you are ready to go with this option, the legal and tax responsibilities need to be covered. The NDIS have created a resource that guides you through each requirement.
What supports can I get to help me employ a support worker?
You don't need to do this alone
Again, let us stress that employing your own staff is a task that requires admin and financial tasks that you may not have been performing before. You may not have the time or skills to be managing admin, payroll, tax and superannuation yourself.
Your NDIS funding can be used to pay for the help you need. Some examples of supports that can help you include:
- bookkeeping and accounting services
- employment services
- software applications
Your CORE funding can be used to pay for these services. See extract from the Support Catalogue:
Self-Management Capacity Building
$63.23/hr, $88.52/hr(remote), $94.85/hr (very remote)
Hiring your own workers - a guide to the law (easy english)