The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a ground-breaking change to the way disability services are funded and delivered. It is a social reform on the scale of the introduction of Medicare and compulsory superannuation – two safety nets now taken for granted by every Australian. In short, the NDIS is removing block funding and allowing greater choice and autonomy for a person with a disability, resulting in increased demand for client care, greater competition in the marketplace among care providers and a potentially larger and stronger workforce with disabilities.
The NDIS was launched in trial sites on 1 July 2013. The Scheme is being progressively rolled out over the next few years across Australia. In each State or Territory, the roll out will be staged to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Everyone who needs the NDIS will have access by 2020.
The impact of NDIS to the Australian workforce will be huge and here we explore where two major societal changes will take place, and how technology can help to ease the transition.
Increased opportunities for individuals with a disability
More registered people with a disability will join the workforce. NDIS will improve early identification and individual understanding of a disability. Having an earlier awareness of limits and capabilities means people with disability will be able to participate more at school, TAFE and university and get jobs that use their skills and enable them to contribute productively to the nation. In, 2012, more than 3.7 million Australians reported living with a disability that impacted their participation in school or daily life.
As more people with a disability enter the workforce, there is likely to be greater need for all businesses to consider more adjustable working hours, shift patterns, remote work areas and shorter, more flexible employment contracts. Monitoring, maintaining and communicating with a flexible workforce needn’t be difficult if you have the right technology in place. Using workforce management software to properly schedule, compensate and manage employees can deliver real financial benefits, streamline processes, educate line managers and increase customer satisfaction, all while boosting staff morale.
Enabling more people with disabilities to enter paid employment and creating an environment of efficiency and job satisfaction so they can remain there, will have a positive flow-on effect, as more family carers are then also able to re-enter the workforce, therefore reducing unemployment. The result of this could have a mammoth potential impact on Australia’s growth and global economy as a whole.
More professional care-givers will be required in the workforce
Many people with a disability rely on informal or family care givers to help them with their daily lives. As Australia’s aging population will grow at a far faster rate than the general population this century, the volume of informal care required will simply not be available – generating a need for massive workforce expansion and the creation of new enterprises in the care sector.
Much work is being done on getting disability service providers ready for the NDIS roll-out. It is widely acknowledged that many ‘not for profit’ organisations who fill this space are limited in their capabilities for marketing, financial strategy planning, technology and human capital management, and without real and urgent attention to these areas, they will fail to be competitive. Health care providers are now accommodating their staff who desire more flexibility and mobility in the community therefore monitoring and supervising staff becomes essential. Slowing down this workforce with antiquated systems and manual time-keeping and shift scheduling is problematic, so the less manual time they have to apply to these tasks, the more time they can dedicate to care giving.
RITEQ Workforce Management Software (RITEQ WFM) offers total visibility to your entire workforce, so you can maximize productivity and efficiency. A cloud-based algorithmic system eliminates guess-work and cognitive errors when plotting shifts and pay changes so senior staff can spend less time on scheduling. ‘Shift-bidding’ and instant messaging, operated through the Employee Self Service system ensures quickly-changing conditions are monitored and resolved. And a fully transparent mobile app allows your entire workforce to engage and interact while they are ‘on the go’, ensuring less time spent at the desk and more providing appropriate client care.
Furthermore, as the workforce grows at a rate to provide the care needed, senior management can keep an accurate track of their expanding workforce and easily identify trends with RITEQ WFM, where cost and efficiencies can continue to be improved.
The NDIS Scheme will change the landscape of not for profit care service organisations like we’ve never seen the before. But with early planning, forward thinking, appropriate technology investment, there is no reason why the most mission-driven companies can’t remain the best in their field and continue to provide a care-giving, efficient and productive workforce.
To find out more about RITEQ WFM and how it can help your business adapt to the NDIS rollout, please speak to a member of our team. Message or call us on 1300 763 995.