Skip to main content
Bedford's response to the Advertiser article

On 1 July 2020 the NDIA changed the way that funding recipients structure their work supports to offer them more choice and control.

Bedford’s Transition to the New Employment Model (NEM), is a huge opportunity for our Clients to reach their goals, and gives them the ability to set and achieve goals they haven’t previously known. Clients may have increased access to new training and one-on-one mentoring, social programs, skills development in new areas, or potentially a move into open- or self-employment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Bedford Supported Employees

Why have I been given these FAQs?

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are about the change that has been made by the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) to how employment supports are funded in NDIS plans.
These FAQs talk about how Bedford have responded to the change. Bedford calls this the ‘Transition to the New Employment Model’. Sometimes we might shorten this to the ‘NEM’ or ‘New Employment Model’.

Who can support me if I need help or more information?

If you have questions about how Bedford can help you with the NEM changes, please contact our Client Management team via the email or phone number below:

Email: clientmanagement@bedfordgroup.com.au

Phone: 08 8116 2162

Questions about the Transition to the New Employment Model

What is the change by the NDIA?

Your NDIS plan has money (funding) to pay for your supports at work. Bedford uses this funding to help you do your job.

From 1 July 2020, the NDIA made changes to what budget employment funding goes into, the name of the funding and the prices for supports. Before this funding was in your ‘Capacity Building’ budget and was called ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’. Now your employment funding should be in your ‘Core’ budget and is called ‘Supports in Employment’.

Before, funding for supports in employment was a set amount. This meant that it was the same amount for a person who worked one day or up to five days. Employment funding is now based on the days and hours you work, as well as the support you receive while at work.

You can read about the changes in the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits document at the NDIS website, and learn more about the rules for Supported Employment in the Supports in Employment Provider Handbook.

When will it happen?

The NDIA has said all employment support providers (like Bedford) must move over to the new funding model by January 2022.

Why is the NDIA making the change?

Previously, supports in employment funding came from your Capacity Building budget, called ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’. The NDIA have now decided to fund supports in employment from your Core budget.

The NDIA have also made this change so employment supports are personalised to the hours and days you work, as well as the individual supports you receive.

Supports may now be provided one-to-one or in a group.

What does the Transition to the New Employment Model mean for me?

At your next NDIS Plan review meeting, the NDIA Planner or Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will ask you six questions:

  1. Where do you work?
  2. How many hours per week do you usually work?
  3. How many hours would you like to work per week?
  4. What help do you receive when you are at work?
  5. Are there new skills you’d like to learn at work?
  6. What other jobs would you like to try?

Bedford have provided you with a document, called the Summary of My Employment Supports, which includes the answers to these questions based on the information you have spoken to us about. You can use this during your NDIS review to help answer the six questions that you will be asked or show the NDIA Planner or LAC the answers.

You don’t have to use the Summary of My Employment Supports from Bedford to help you answer the questions your LAC will ask. But if you don’t have this document from Bedford, you may receive less funding from the NDIS for employment supports.

You may not have this document if you have been on long-term leave and we have not been able to work with you to answer these questions.

Please contact Bedford if you don’t think you have been given your Summary of My Employment Supports, or you have not been at work to answer the six questions.

Will the payment method for my Supports in Employment change?

There will be no change to the payment method if your budget is still managed in the same way (plan-managed, self-managed or NDIA/Agency managed). Bedford will send your invoice to your Plan Manager if you are Plan Managed. Bedford will send your invoice to you and/or your Plan Nominee if you are self-managed. Bedford will claim the funding from the NDIA portal if you are NDIA/Agency managed. Please let us know if you have changed the way your budget is managed, so Bedford can change the payment method.

Under the New Employment Model (NEM) you will notice that invoices look slightly different as they will have the new NEM codes and prices. You may not receive invoices for Supports in Employment in early 2022 as we are still working through the new billing process. When this work has finished the invoices will include support costs backdated to when you transitioned to the NEM.

Do I have a choice in transitioning to the New Employment Model (NEM)?

The NDIA has made this change. It is compulsory – this means employers (like Bedford) and employees (like you) have not been given a choice about making the change.

The NDIA have prepared your Plan for the change by moving your funding to your Core budget.

How will Bedford help me with the transition?

Bedford created a project team who worked together to understand the changes the NDIA made, and plan how Bedford would support clients through the changes. Bedford met with employees to help answer the NDIA’s six questions.

Bedford has put all the information into a document called the Summary of My Employment Supports to answer the questions asked by the NDIA. If you gave us your consent, we have shared this document with the NDIA. You also can share it yourself once you have received your copy.

Please let us know if you can’t find your copy, or don’t think you have seen this document before.

If you have questions about how Bedford can help you with the changes, please email or phone us.

Email: clientmanagement@bedfordgroup.com.au

Phone: 08 8116 2162

Will I be better off?

The NDIA says the changes will mean you’ll have more flexibility about how and where you use your funding for supports at work, including how you could achieve any new employment goals.

At first, you won’t see any change to how you are supported working at Bedford. After we have transitioned all employees to the New Employment Model, we can then introduce more tailored workplace supports to help you to achieve your employment goals.

By learning more about the supports at work you have and your future workplace goals, we’ll also be able to plan for the supports and services Bedford will provide in the future.

What if I switch to the New Employment Model and I feel that it doesn’t adequately support my needs, or support achieving my goals?

Please contact your CSR or Regional PTO, who will be able to help you and discuss your options.

Bedford is still in the process of transitioning to the New Employment Model. We will be using the information you provided us in your Step Forward Survey to identify ways we can better support your employment goals. We have a transformation team working on these, however it will take a little time for Bedford to be able to offer all the different supports and opportunities that employees identified in the survey.

What if I don’t want to do it?

The NDIA has made the change - it is compulsory.

You don’t have to accept the Summary of My Employment Supports from Bedford to help you answer the questions your LAC will ask. But if you don’t have this document from Bedford, you may receive less funding from the NDIS for employment supports.

If you choose not to agree to your updated Service Agreement with Bedford you can choose to work for another employer. If you still want to continue working at Bedford you will need to agree to your updated Service Agreement.

Questions about Service Agreements and the Summary of My Employment Supports

Why might my Summary of My Employment Supports document change?

The Summary of My Employment Supports (SOMES) is based on information provided and known when it was written, and may change as you, your goals, and the supports in the workplace change.

The SOMES will change:

  • if you reduce or increase work hours
  • if you move to another job within Bedford where different supports are needed
  • if changing your employment goals changes the amount of support you need at work
  • if your personal circumstances change and you need different supports to do your job
  • if the NDIA change the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits
  • if Bedford changes its pricing and support model
Why might my current Summary of My Employment Supports (SOMES) document be different to a previously received SOMES?

In October 2021 Bedford revised its pricing and support model to more accurately reflect the costs of the supports being provided. All employees were provided with a SOMES based on the current Bedford supports in employment model.

For employees working a full week, the updated SOMES has resulted in an increase. For employees working fewer hours it has resulted in a decrease.

These updates consist of four changes:

  • non-face-to-face supports are now calculated on days worked, rather than a weekly average
  • removal of a 2-hour weekly allocation for group training at a ratio of 1 : 5
  • supports are now calculated for the entire length of time that you are supported, rather than justworking hours
  • Centre Capital Costs are now calculated for the entire length of time that you are supported,rather than just working hours
If the NDIS change the pricing for supports in employment how will I be told this?

When the NDIS makes a change to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits that affects supports in employment, Bedford will also make the same change. Your Service Agreement with Bedford explains this.

If it is a pricing change, we will publish it on the Bedford website.

We will tell you there has been a change through a Toolbox Talk at work and provide more information about the change through these FAQs.

The NDIS increased the hourly price for supports in employment from the start of 2022 by 72 cents for Port Lincoln and 21 cents for all other Bedford sites, to help cover the cost of protective equipment due to COVID. The NDIS have said they will index your plan to cover the cost of the increase - this means they will increase your supports in employment funding.

Bedford won’t create a new Summary of My Employment Supports with the updated pricing unless you need it for a Plan review, or wish to make changes to your Program of Support for Supports in Employment.

What does it mean when it’s said that my supports in employment are delivered in a Program of Supports?

Your employment supports at Bedford are planned and delivered as a Program of Supports, in blocks of no more than 12 weeks. Bedford will claim each week for these provided supports, based on your agreed Schedule of Support. The NDIS call these your 'Typical Pattern of Support'.

  • You will not be billed:
  • for public holidays, unless you are rostered to work
  • for approved leave with a minimum of two weeks’ notice
  • for planned Bedford shutdown periods where services and supports are not provided
  • if you end your Program of Supports, having given at least two weeks’ notice

The following supports will be billed under a Program of Supports:

  • On-the-job supervision and Workplace Training
  • Non-face-to-face Support
  • Centre Capital Costs
When my Plan is due for review, what happens under the NEM?

Please let Bedford know if your Plan is being reviewed by your LAC / NDIS so we can make sure you have a current Summary of My Employment Supports (SOMES) based on your current work goals, and if you want to discuss changing your supports in employment.

If you sign a consent form, we can provide your SOMES directly to the LAC / NDIS to help make sure you receive the correct funding for supports in employment.

Why am I having to do another Service Agreement, didn’t I just do a new Service Agreement with Bedford?

All employees were recently provided with a new Service Agreement to enable the transition to the NEM. As your current NDIS Plan ends you will need a new Service Agreement with Bedford that is for the dates of your new NDIS Plan.

Bedford has transitioned employees to the new employment pricing model via the provision of updated Service Agreements and Summary of My Employment Supports documents.

All Bedford NDIS-funded employees will be on the New Employment Model from their return from holidays in 2022 - for most employees this will be from the 10th January.

Please note Bedford must apply the NEM pricing from January 2022, if you have been unable to respond to the updated service agreement before returning from planned leave, attendance at work will be taken as acceptance of the updated Service Agreement with Bedford. If you have any concerns about the updated Service Agreement, please contact Bedford prior to returning to work.

If you don’t have your updated Service Agreement, please contact Bedford.

Questions about NDIS funding for workplace supports

Will the cost of my supports be higher or lower?

Your employment support funding is decided by the NDIA and under the new funding model is based on the amount of hours you work, the type of support and other circumstances such as where you work (for example, if you are working in a remote location like Port Lincoln, in a regional location, or Adelaide).

Bedford has estimated the cost of providing you support based on the NDIS’ new funding model. It is up to the NDIS to make the decision of the funding they will provide. Bedford’s cost evaluation has been included in your Summary of My Employment Supports document.

The cost of providing you with workplace supports could be higher or lower – everyone will be different.

If the cost of your supports is higher, it is important the NDIA knows this so they can provide the funding required to keep your current work hours and employment supports.

If you work full time and have a complex job, your supports in employment will probably be higher under the new funding model. If you work only a few hours each week, and you don’t require a lot of job customisation or work engagement skills, your support costs may be lower.

How have my supports in employment changed?

The NDIA have changed the way supported employment is funded.

The NDIA fund:

  • direct support
  • non-direct support

Bedford calls these:

  • On-the-Job Supervision and Workplace Training
  • Non-Face-to-Face Supports
  • Centre Capital Costs

On the Job Supervision and Workplace Training

Supports in Employment may be provided one-to-one or within a group-based setting, assisting with expected employer supports, according to the intensity and frequency of supports delivered to achieve employment goals.

Supports can include:

  • on-the-job assessments related to your work
  • job customisation
  • on-the-job training and intermittent support with daily work tasks
  • direct supervision and/or group-based support to enable meaningfulparticipation at work
  • supports to manage disability-related behaviour or complex needs at work

Non-Face-to-Face Supports

Bedford will claim for non-face-to-face supports from your NDIS plan to help cover the cost of the following supports:

  • progress noting and progress reports
  • case conferences and engagement with your supports
  • assistance with job customisation
  • development of resources for program activities

Centre Capital Costs

If the supports that you receive are being delivered in a centre, Bedford will claim Centre Capital Costs. These costs were introduced by the NDIA to help support the cost of running and maintaining service provider’s facilities.

Questions about my job

What if my Supports in Employment funding provided by the NDIS is less than the amount in the Summary of My Employment Supports?

The NDIA have asked providers like Bedford to work with you to you ask for a Plan review as your current plan doesn’t have enough funds. The NDIA have said to say the reason for the review request is "Employment in Jeopardy".

If your employment funding will run out within 100 days (about three months) of your Plan end date, the NDIA have let Bedford know that LACs can bring Plan reviews forward, so you have an early review. Bedford can work with you to ask the NDIA (or LAC) to do an early Plan Review.

If your employment funding will run out with more than three months of your Plan still to go, we can help you to request a Plan review due to a change in circumstances.

The NDIA have said they prefer if you make the request rather than Bedford. However, they have also said Bedford can do this on your behalf if you give Bedford permission to do this. We have a consent form you can sign so we can make the review request for you - please ask your PTO or CSR for the form.

If you run out of funding before a review is organised, please let Bedford know straight away so we can quickly help you organise a Plan review request for you.If you have any questions about your NDIS Plan and funding, don’t forget posters are up at your work site which talk about how Bedford can help. The Bedford Client Management team is also here to help:

Email: clientmanagement@bedfordgroup.com.au

Phone: 08 8116 2162

Do I pay for supports in employment when I am on leave from work?

You will not be charged if you provide at least two weeks’ notice for approved leave.

Bedford has an Employee Leave and Absence Notification Form for you to use to let us know about planned leave, so you won’t be charged for employment supports while you’re away. We will have Toolbox Talks on how to use the form and there is help available to fill out the form.

If you are at home and not able to come to work, please call your PTO - you can ask them to complete the Employee Leave and Absence Notification Form for you if you will be away for more than two weeks.

You do not need to complete the form for unplanned leave if you will be away for less than two weeks.

Can I change my hours at work?

Bedford will continue to be flexible and consider all requests for a change in hours. If you want to work more, or less, hours at Bedford, talk to your PTO or Supervisor and they will assist you with your request.

Under the New Employment Model, if you want to increase your work hours you will need to make sure you have funding from the NDIS that will cover the additional employment supports. Your Client Services Representative (CSR) can help you do this.

Early in 2022 we will have Toolbox Talks and videos on how you can make a change to your employment supports - things like how to ask for a change in working hours, a change to the days you work or job type.

For the first few months Bedford will prioritise employees needing to reduce work hours.

Will my pay change?

Your hourly rates and take-home pay will not be affected by the Transition to the New Employment Model. Your wage will continue to increase at set times, as set out in the Bedford Employee Enterprise Agreement (2017).

You will continue to have a wage assessment each year and set new goals in your Individual Training Plan (ITP). A higher wage is based on your skills and ability to do more complicated work.

Why is there a difference between my wage and what Bedford gets paid from my NDIS Plan?

The money in your NDIS Plan is not used to pay your weekly wages from Bedford. The employment supports funding in your Plan is to pay for the supports Bedford provides to you at work.