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Everything you need to know about how Bedford is helping our community at this time.

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

What is the change by the NDIS?

The way you receive you supports in employment funding is being changed by the NDIS. The transition to the new funding supports is ordered by the NDIS – not Bedford – it applies to all clients who work in supported employment.

To make the change, the NDIS will ask you six employment questions at your next Plan Review meeting. Based on your responses, the level of funding for your supports in employment may change.

The way Bedford is responding to the change by the NDIS is called ‘Transition to the New Employment Model’. We will sometimes shorten it to Transition to the NEM, or just NEM.

Why is NDIS making the change?

The NDIS have decided to fund employment supports as part of the Core budget in your next NDIS Plan. This means that in the future you will have more choice about how you use workplace supports to achieve your employment goals.

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

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

  1. Where do you work?
  2. What jobs do you do?
  3. How many hours do you work each week?
  4. What help do you get at work?
  5. What new skills do you want to learn at work?
  6. What other jobs would you like to try?

Bedford will give you a document with answers to these questions. The information we give you will help the NDIS work out the funding supports you need in your next Plan.

How will Bedford help me with the transition?

A project team has been established to coordinate Bedford’s response to transition to the new way of claiming employment supports. The project is called Transition to New Employment Model (NEM).

We can help you by collating information to answer the questions being asked by the NDIS. After gaining your consent we can share this information with your Planner or LACs, or you can provide it yourself directly once you have received your copy of the information.

In the coming months we will provide the opportunity for you to meet with a Bedford staff member in person to discuss in detail your future skill and job goals. This information will help future conversations with your LAC or Planner, and will also assist Bedford in the future to provide a more personalised support service.

For some of you, your NDIS Plan may have already been updated without our assistance. If you would like to talk to us about this, let us know.

Will I be better off?

The NDIS says the changes will mean you’ll have more flexibility about how and where you use your funding for supports at work, including how they might help you achieve any new employment goals. Initially you won’t see any change to how you are supported at work at Bedford, as we have been given 18 months (until January 2022) to prepare for the change.

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

When will it happen?

The NDIS funding changes started on 1 July 2020. You can view these changes in the NDIS Price Guide at www.ndis.gov.au

Your existing funding arrangements will remain the same until your next NDIS Plan review.

The NDIS wants Bedford and other employment support providers to move over to the new funding model before January 2022.

The NDIS are allowing Bedford to continue to use old pricing arrangements for a period of up to 18 months, meaning from January 2022 all supported employees will have their workplace supports funded under the new model.

Bedford will guide you in this process.

I’ve had an NDIS Plan review recently, am I already on the new type of support funding?

If you have had an NDIS Plan Review meeting after July 2020, your work support funding has most likely been moved to your Core support budget.

That’s okay, Bedford will work with you to learn your current and future work goals, and check that the funding for work supports will meet your needs.

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

The NDIS is making the change. It is mandated – this means there is no choice about making the change.

Some of you may have already been transitioned if your plan was recently updated. Over the next year and half as your plan comes up for review you will be moved to the new funding model.

If your NDIS Plan is up for review after January 2022, we expect the NDIS will contact you prior to December 2021 to book a Plan Review meeting with your LAC.

What if I don’t want to do it?

The NDIS is making the change. It is mandated – this means there is no choice about making the change.

You don’t have to accept the information from Bedford to help you answer the questions your LAC will ask. If you don’t have this information from Bedford you may receive less funding from the NDIS for employment supports.

If you wish to continue working at Bedford at the same number of hours, you will need to check that you have enough workplace supports.

Will the transition be the same for everybody?

It may differ slightly for you depending on when your plan is due to expire. As Bedford has more time to roll out its response to the NDIS change, the way we can assist you to prepare for it will become better over time.

Eventually we will be ready to move to the New Employment Model completely. Until Bedford has an hourly billing process where your supports in employment are identified and claimed in a different way, you will see no change in your Service Agreements with Bedford, except the services item number will be to your Core budget using a transitional code.

Once hourly billing is possible for Bedford, then Service Agreements will reflect a different way of claiming for supports in employment.

What is the employment supports funding in my NDIS Plan used for?

The money in your Plan for employment supports is used to support you at work. Bedford provides these employment support services – you may access some or all of these:

  • learning new work skills
  • direct supervision by the support staff
  • off-the-job training sessions
  • making sure the environment and work areas are safe
  • buildings are easily accessed with ramps and easy opening doors
  • the way we talk and provide information is altered to suit using pictures and posters
  • non-face-to-face supports, like report writing, development of task breakdowns, or creating individualised support tools
  • connecting you to other services.

The funding of employment supports has been part of the Capacity Building budget of an NDIS Plan. This funding did not cover all the costs of employment supports provided by Bedford to each client. Bedford hopes that the transition to the New Employment Model will mean we are better funded in the future so we can continue to provide our services to you.

Will the cost of my supports be higher or lower?

We do not know this yet. The change to supports funding is new to Bedford and we are in the process of understanding the change as well.

The costs could be higher, as Bedford has been providing support to make working here more suited to you, but not been able to claim for it under the old pricing guide.

The move of the employment support funding to the Core budget of an NDIS Plan means that Bedford can now claim for more of your individual supports. This support includes group training and some one-on-one time with the support staff.

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 Personnel Training Officer (PTO) and they will assist you to make this change.

Will my pay change?

Your hourly rates and take-home pay should not be affected at this stage. 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 determined by your skills.

Will there be a Fair Work Commission (FWC) impact?

Bedford are waiting to hear further details from the FWC regarding a wage assessment tool and possible minimum award-rate changes.

Further information may be found on the Fair Work Commission website as their policies are developed.

Bedford will update you as information is known.

Why is there a gap between my wage and the amount Bedford gets paid from my NDIS Plan?

The money in your NDIS Plan is not used to pay your weekly wages. The money in your Plan for employment supports is used to support you at work.

Will my work Terms and Conditions stay the same?

They will stay the same until an updated Employment Contract is signed by you. Bedford is still working on this. We will give you more information as it becomes available.

Will some of my workmate’s rates be different or higher?

Every NDIS Plan, Employment Contract and Service Agreement is tailored to the individual. Even now, your conditions and rates are likely to be different to those of your friends. Bedford will continue to be flexible and offer a range of hours and working conditions.

This information is private and confidential – we don’t share it with anyone except you.

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

If you feel that your plan isn’t supporting your goals or work plans, you’ll need to adjust your plan to suit. To do this, you’ll need to submit a Review of a Reviewable Decision (if within 90 days of your Plan commencing) or a Change of Circumstances form if it has been more than 90 days since your last Plan commenced.

You can ring the NDIS or look at their website to get information on the review process and the forms you need to request a review. Talk to your LAC or Support Coordinator if you need help with lodging these forms.

If the amount of money in your Core support budget is not meeting your needs or employment goals, your PTO can help you look at the supports you need at work to meet these goals. We will then be able to provide you with up-to-date information to assist you with requesting a review.

Who can support me if I need more information?

We have set up an NEM helpline for email and phone – if you have questions about Bedford’s response to the NDIS funding changes, this should be your first port of call. You'll find the contact numbers and email address at the bottom of this page.

For more information regarding the pricing change to workplace supports, visit the NDIS website.

Do you have any questions, feedback or require further information on the New Employment Model? Contact Bedford's NEM Helpline via the channels below: