Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Northcott – Half hour break; a safe implementation?

Northcott – Half hour break; a safe implementation – September 2018 (PDF version)

CPSU NSW members work in a growing number of private disability providers, including:

Achieve Australia

Australian Unity (Home Care)

Cerebral Palsy Alliance

House With No Steps

Hunter Valley Disability Services

Life Without Barriers

Live Better Community Services

Mid North Coast Disability Services

The Benevolent Society


The Disability Trust (Mountview)

Your union recently met with Northcott on Monday 24 September to raise concerns about the proposed introduction of half-hour unpaid breaks.

While this is allowable under the Copied State Award, ADHC determined that it was not appropriate due to the needs of the clients and would lead to undue difficulties in the homes.

The CPSU NSW does not believe these circumstances have changed.

Under consultation with your CPSU NSW Delegates and officials, Northcott management has said it is going through a risk assessment of each house to see if it’s safe to introduce the breaks.

If there are incidents that would make the breaks unsafe, Northcott have agreed to not introduce them in that house.

Your CPSU NSW delegates and officials advised that with the Supported Independent Living (SIL) quota, there’s a reason and need for the proposed number of staff to be on at those times.

By having one less member of staff for an hour (allowing for both staff breaks), there could be an increase in the risk of incidents and reduce the service provided to your clients.

Having a “blanket roll-out” of breaks, across all homes, without the proper risk assessment and consultation, could result in a catastrophe.

The SIL quota identifies the amount of staff required for clients’ needs, there is no allowance for breaks or reduction in staffing levels, even for a half hour.

We will be meeting with Northcott again on this issue soon. If you have concerns about the implementation of breaks in your home, please contact your local delegate.

If you don’t have a local delegate and would like to become more involved with the CPSU NSW and your workplace, please contact your CPSU NSW Organiser or the Member Support Centre on
1300 772 679.

Ask your colleagues to stand with you by joining CPSU NSW today. They can join online HERE.

If you want an Organiser to attend your team meetings, please email or