The Code applies to all disability workers employed or otherwise engaged to deliver disability services in Victoria, regardless of their funding source.
The term ‘disability worker’ means a person who directly provides a disability service to a person with disability, or their manager or supervisor, and includes employees, key personnel, contractors, agents and volunteers who provide services on behalf of an organisation or agency.
It does not apply to a family member of a person with disability who provides a disability service without receiving a form of payment or reward, or to a person providing volunteer services, unless they are doing that on behalf of an organisation or agency.
A ‘disability service’ involves more than incidental contact with a person with disability and is provided for the purpose of caring for, or treating the person or supporting the person to manage the person’s limitations in undertaking communication, social or economic participation, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care, self-management or a prescribed service.
How is conduct assessed against the Code?
Workers are required to adhere to the Code. Workers and employers are also required to notify the Commission if they become aware that workers have engaged in notifiable conduct. You can read more about notifiable conduct in the coming weeks.
If you suspect that a disability worker has breached the Code, you should report it to the Commission.
Anyone can make a complaint to the Commission about the conduct of a Victorian disability worker if they believe the worker has breached the Code. This includes people with disability, family members, advocates and other providers.
The Commission can investigate suspected breaches of the Code, whether it is in relation to a complaint, a notification or from any other source.
The Commission will work with all relevant people and conduct investigations fairly and efficiently and in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
The Commissioner will take a proportionate approach in interpreting and enforcing the Code, considering relevant factors, including:
- the type of services a worker is responsible for delivering
- the organisational environment in which the services are delivered
- the skills and qualifications of the worker
- the support needs of the person with disability
- other regulations that apply to the services
- other relevant circumstances.
What are the consequences of breaching the Code of Conduct?
The Commission can take a range of actions if a disability worker breaches the Code.
The consequences for breaching the Code will be proportionate to the breach that has occurred.
In response to a breach of the Code, the Commission may:
- require a disability worker to improve their skills and capabilities,
- require a disability worker to work with the Commission to improve their conduct,
- for more serious breaches, issue an order that stops a person from providing disability services in Victoria. (Information about these orders will be published on the Commission’s website), and/or
- if an alleged criminal act is involved, refer the matter to the police.