NDIS: dealing with the complexity of NDIS payroll

Since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the disability services industry has been met with several challenges due to changes made to the nature of the work, workforce operations and payroll.
 
Here are 5 challenges faced by disability services providers and how to deal with them.
1. Risk of underpaying employees
Disability service providers often do not have predictable working hours or work locations.
 
Employers must be careful to avoid underpaying their employees under the relevant modern award or agreement between both parties.
 
If an employee’s working arrangements are not suited to the employer’s needs, they can consider setting up an individual flexibility arrangement (IFA) to adjust the award clauses. Employers should note that an IFA cannot be used to change an employee’s entitlements.
 
2. Modern award misclassification
Accurately identifying the modern award that covers each employee is as important as it is difficult to do in the disability services sector.
 
The flexibility of work in this industry means that employees are sometimes covered by more than one modern award depending on the service they are providing on the day and who the client may be.
 
Employers need to do the extra legwork to determine which modern awards cover their employees in order to avoid any hefty underpayment penalties.
 
3. Workforce casualisation
With the increase in demand for disability services at irregular hours comes an increase in demand for casual workers with flexible working arrangements.
 
The NDIS model gives participants control over the session, including the duration as well as the choice to attend. If participants end up changing or cancelling the session, employees will be left to do unproductive work, which results in losses for the employer.
 
A casual workforce will allow the industry to accommodate the flexibility in the participants’ demands but also leads to a lower quality of services and a lack of job security for the workforce.
 
4. Timesheet inaccuracy
NDIS participants sometimes require disability service providers to travel to their homes, and workers will often need to go to multiple locations in a day.
 
This may cause complications in payroll preparations as the workers may not be mindful enough to sign in and sign off their timesheets accurately.
 
Employers in this industry should carefully train their employees and come up with a system to optimise the accuracy of their timesheets. If you need help with this, feel free to book a consultation with us.
 
5. Cash flow issues
The past financial year has undoubtedly led to a lot of unease in many sectors, including disability services.
 
The unpredictability of cash flow has led many businesses to review their financials and make adjustments accordingly, such as amending enterprise agreements and employee entitlements.
 
If employers are considering doing this, they should seek consultation with an accounting professional first to avoid unintentionally causing damage to employees or getting wrapped up in legal implications.
 
We’re here to help
If you are having issues with your NDIS payroll, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. We are confident that we will be able to resolve your issue with dedication and efficiency. Simply drop us a message on our website.