The union representing disability workers in New South Wales says the NSW Opposition’s plan to introduce portable entitlements would help prevent a predicted exodus from the state’s disability sector.
NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns today announced a commitment to modernise NSW laws and respond to the rise of precarious work by introducing a portable entitlement scheme for gig workers and casual workers – including those in the disability sector.
Australian Services Union NSW Secretary Angus McFarland said the commitment by NSW Labor would make an enormous difference if enacted. “We need to attract around 30,000 new disability sector workers in this state over the next 12 months to meet demand. According to recent surveys, however, around 50 per cent of disability sector workers are fed up and plan to leave in the next five years,” Mr McFarland said. “A big source of their pain is losing their entitlements every time they switch jobs, which tends to happen very regularly.
Disability work is highly casualised meaning many disability support workers have to work multiple jobs and combine casual and part-time work with gig work to make up the hours to provide for their families. “Portable entitlements would mean that when a disability worker accrues annual leave, long-service leave, or other entitlements through their work, they don’t lose all of that when they switch employers.
Just like their superannuation, these entitlements would follow them from job to job. “To be frank, disability workers shouldn’t have to wait and pray for the election of Minns Government for this change. Portable entitlements are already available to disability workers in Victoria, Queensland, and the ACT – while South Australia is working on introducing the change.
There is no reason for the current New South Wales government to keep making life so hard disability workers in this state today.”