Can I be barred from working in the disability sector by my employer?

Can I be barred from working in the disability sector by my employer?

The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) established the ‘Disability Worker Exclusion List’ to complement current pre-employment checks. The list is intended to assist prospective employers, in determining whether someone is suitable for a role in their disability facility. Individuals found to pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of other people could find themself on the list and restricted from certain disability-related work due to employers registered under section 73E of the NDIS Act obligation to comply with the scheme. The Disability Worker Exclusion List was designed to protect the safety of Victorians with disabilities accessing disability services.

Once your employer commences an investigation, the DHHS will be notified. Your name is not automatically added to the Disability Worker Exclusion List until an investigation has concluded and the allegations are substantiated. For example, if you have been found guilty of an offence that is of a sexual nature, has involved bodily harm, or involved dishonesty, then your name may be placed on the list. You will receive a notification once you have been added to the list. From there, you can apply for the decision to be reviewed by completing the online form prepared by the DHHS. There are multiple review types including a show cause opportunity; an appeal within 30 days of your name appearing on the list; or a review after three years of the most recent decision on your matter. Otherwise, you may attain a review under exceptional circumstances if you believe you have been wrongfully identified or there has been an error in a public record.

To undergo the appeal process, you may need to provide information to show whether you pose a risk to the health and safety of people with disabilities. This evidence could include written references from current or past employers, proof of professional development, changes to your personal situation, or evidence that you have been working in a similar role elsewhere.

If you have been placed on the Disability Worker Exclusion list or are at risk of this and would like to know your options, do not hesitate to contact the team at McDonald Murholme on (03) 9650 4555.

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