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Disability workforce at breaking point

Young woman sitting on a bridge and talks with young man sitting in wheel chair.

In one of the most important industries in Australia – supporting people living with disability – 1 in 3 workers say that want to leave in the next twelve months and there is already a shortfall of 83,000 full time positions. Catholic Social Services Australia is bringing attention to this horrible situation.  

A survey conducted by unions supporting the sector found that 31% of the 2500 support workers surveyed wanted to leave their jobs because of negative workplace culture, and 21% want to leave for higher pay. 

Ms Monique Earsman, Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Australia said the survey is symptomatic of “a sector demoralised and at breaking point”.

“We have got a situation where one in three disability workers want to leave the sector because of low wages and poor conditions,” Ms Earsman said.

“Disability workers are undervalued and this is having a devastating impact on the people they care for.

“The NDIS is one of the greatest reforms to disability services in decades, but as workers leave the sector it is being undermined and its capacity to deliver vital services is being gutted,” Ms Earsman said.

A Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS found that the sector is in need of 83,000 full time workers. 

COVID-19 has hit the sector hard, 18% of workers contractor COVID-19 since November 2021, 44% used paid leave for their recovery and 28% had no leave or government payments available. 

For the full press release, go here: