John Sellick – Rocky Bay

Carer/family of a person with disability

I would like to submit my views on Employment Services reform, My wife has borderline personality disorder which makes it very difficult for her to work even though she would if it was possible.

I am also employed as consultant with Rocky Bay Employment Services which currently has contracts to provide employment services in Western Australia.

I believe that it would benefit job seekers if monies were available to arrange items like police clearances, wwc cards, etc. Where the providers could pay for these items and then claim back from the contract provider.

I also believe that where in Perth there are four contract areas, it should be reduced to two – one north and one south so that the client could have a larger variety to choose form.

I also believe that payments for service for clients should be paid as per attended appointment (proof via ESS),providers paid for every 6 attended appointments with no more than 6 every 3 month period to stop rorting of the system.

DNAV appointments will be paid if provider provides a medical certificate from the client.

There are providers who are very choosy as to what clients they take on. If the client requires work they will not take them on as it will affect their star rating. Having a requirement to take on a certain number of clients each three months would help to solve this.

Transferring between providers should be online and only if both parties have agreed, at present the system allows providers to transfer clients without agreements as they can choose another provider and just transfer. The transfer should be pending until approved by the other provider and the first provider should be required to continue support up to that date.

There are clients who are on Newstart who do not have the capacity to work, these clients should be on DSP and given funding to assist them to increase their capacity. All DSP clients should have a funding plan to enable them to find work if they have been identified as having some capacity to work.

Medical Certificates process needs to be revisited, rejecting them after 3 times or if the condition is a permanent one does not help providers trying to get people ready for work. Providers should be accepting medical certificates and be accountable to Centrelink by providing reasons to reject or accept medical certs. That way the providers are not caught between Centrelink and the client.

As a person who cares for someone with a disability, while my wife has no requirement to job search and probably never will. It is distressing for the carer to try and assist their love one to find work when they know from experience it will not be beneficial.

The job capacity assessment process is being done by a person with no knowledge of the person and in some cases it seems that they are being driven by a directive than actually accessing the person. Having organisations like Rocky Bay etc actually being involved in assessments would allow for recommendations for an employment plan to be submitted as part of the JCA. While this may cost money initially the benefits of correctly identifying the barriers and issuing providers with both the fundings and an action plan may result in more job seekers gaining employment.

The contract should also be for 10 years with reviews at 3, 5 and 7 years, this gives a long term view for providers, and their staff. The focus should also be on Not for profits having a bigger share in this area as for profits make their money and if it is no longer profitable leave, While the Non for profits as this is can assist them in delivering services have more reason to ensure the clients are well serviced.

Just my thoughts