One of the goals of the NDIS is to provide participants with choice and control over their providers, including their support workers.
As a self-managed or a plan managed participant of the NDIS, you have the option of either engaging the services of a care agency to provide you with support workers, or to hire your own support workers directly.
Below is an overview of the benefits of each option and the things you need to take into consideration when deciding to hire your own support workers.
There are numerous service providers who can provide you with a support worker or a team of support workers to help you with your daily, social and community living tasks to meet your NDIS goals.
Under this option, you will choose and create a service plan with a care agency or service provider of your choice. The chosen agency will provide you with a support worker, or team of support workers, who are employed by them to provide you with the support services required to meet your NDIS goals.
This means that the care agency is responsible for all aspects of care delivery, including the recruitment and management of the support workers, the rates they are paid and the hours in which the service is delivered.
The second option is to choose and hire your own support workers directly.
This option allows you to hire anyone of your choice (with the exception of family members), to provide you with the care required to meet your NDIS goals. This provides peace of mind as it allows you to choose someone who you may either already know, or who you might have similar interests as you to be your support worker.
In addition to this, employing your own support workers provides you with increased flexibility in terms of negotiating rates of pay, the hours in which they work, and the tasks in which your support workers will engage in. This allows you to stretch your funding further by negotiating rates of pay that are less than what most agencies are charging.
When hiring your own support workers, it is important to keep in mind that there are additional legal responsibilities that come with this.
First, you will need to consider whether your support worker is a contractor or an employee. This is important as each one carries different legal, tax and financial obligations. The ATO has a handy tool that will help you figure this out! Questions | Employee/contractor decision tool (ato.gov.au)
If the worker is a contractor, they can simply set up an ABN and send an invoice to yourself or your plan manager.
However, if the worker is classed as an employee, there are additional legal, tax and super obligations which you will have to consider, including:
This may seem a little daunting, however, there are many services and technologies available, which can be paid from your NDIS funding, that can help you manage these duties!
A great resource to get you started and provide you with all the information you need can be found at the following link