Queensland gets tough on dodgy disability workers – Community Care Review

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Legislation has been introduced in Queensland to establish a nationally consistent NDIS worker screening system to improve safeguards for people with disability.

Coralee O’Rourke

The new laws, which mean banned workers will be recognised across all states and territories will replace existing worker screening provisions under under state disability laws.

“This Bill will strengthen safeguards for people with disability following the rollout of the NDIS,” disability services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said.

“The legislative amendments in this Bill will support the implementation of nationally-consistent worker screening for the first time ever.

“The new system for NDIS worker screening means clearances and exclusions will be recognised across all states and territories.”

The legislation will also enable ongoing monitoring of a screened worker’s criminal history at a national level, so if a person commits an offence in another state or territory the Queensland government will know about it.

Other key changes include:

  • Strengthening identity requirements.
  • Automatically disqualifying people convicted of sexual offences and offences against vulnerable people
  • A bolstered decision making process about questionable workers
  • The ability to consider a broader range of information if a person poses a risk
  • Five-year clearances

The legislation will also allow Queensland to operate a state disability worker screening system for certain disability services it continues to fund, or deliver, which are not covered by the jurisdiction of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

“This is about making sure the highest levels of safeguards apply and that we are assessing the history of those seeking to work with people with disability as thoroughly as possible,” she said.

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