Disability support worker sued by NDIS provider after clients follow her

August 26, 2020
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A statement of claim, filed by Cornwalls on behalf of Give a Care, alleges Ms Griffin sent emails with client information to a personal email address before she left the company.

Ms Griffin said some of those emails were sent long before she quit her job, and that she did so because she worked remotely and sometimes used her home computer and printer.

Ms Griffin said she left when her overtime hours were cut.Credit:Simon Schluter

It is further alleged that Ms Griffin told clients that Give a Care staff “had excessive workloads and lacked the resources to be able to adequately service” them, which she denies doing.

The NDIS specifically calls for people with disability to have control over their own care.

The code of conduct for providers states that: “Choice and control is a core principle of the NDIS. People with disability have the right to choice and control about who supports them and how their supports and services are delivered.”

Ms Griffin said she left Give a Care when her overtime hours were cut, which she needed to support her family with four school-aged children at home.

One of her clients, Alan, who is joint nominee for a family friend under the NDIS and did not want his surname published, changed providers to follow Ms Griffin.

He found out Ms Griffin was changing jobs through their accommodation provider and said they independently chose to transfer services with her to avoid disrupting the services and trust they had developed.

It’s alleged she brought 21 people with her, which she also disputes. She says the true number is closer to eight.

Give a Care is seeking an injunction, as well as damages, compensation and interest.

Founder and chief executive Jeff Shaw alleged that Ms Griffin had complained to clients about his company.

“She signed a contract saying basically she wouldn’t do that, and we have not to date received a satisfactory explanation,” Mr Shaw said in an emailed statement.

“I don’t know why she didn’t come to us, the management, to help fix any problems she had. We were struggling a bit at the time, but we have lightened the load from some of our employees considerably. We are always very concerned with all our employees.”

Mr Shaw, who has an acquired brain injury from a stroke and couldn’t talk for nine years, said he started Give a Care after witnessing poor care standards for people with disability.

Lawyer Martin Alden, from Cornwalls, said they had attempted to engage with Ms Griffin but she had not been responsive.

Ms Rothville, of Gordon Legal, said non-compete provisions were normally pursued against high-paid executives.

The defence from Gordon Legal is yet to be filed.

A spokesperson for the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission would not comment on third party civil matters, but said that all NDIS providers and workers were required to comply with the code of conduct.

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