Risk management and compliance requirements

As an employer, it is important for you to understand the changes to disability worker screening in Queensland, your obligations and the impact this will have on your organisation and employees.

Risk management and compliance requirements

NDIS Registered Employers

NDIS registered employers are responsible for identifying which of their workers are required to hold a valid NDIS Worker Screening Clearance.

Existing workers or new workers who already have a valid yellow card or yellow card exemption won’t need to get a clearance straight away. The existing card can be used until it expires or is cancelled.

It is important for you to register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s NDIS Worker Screening Database (NWSD) so that you can verify your workers’ applications and track their eligibility to work.

There are no exemptions from NDIS worker screening, other than for school students in certain limited circumstances.

If your workers applied for or already hold a Yellow Card that was issued before 1 Feb 2021 you will need to be aware of changes to employer and worker obligations as well as changes to how you and your workers can manage their clearance. It is an offence for an NDIS funded provider to engage or continue to engage a worker to deliver NDIS services or supports unless they hold a clearance. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

State Funded Employers

State funded disability support service providers are responsible for identifying which of their employees require a Queensland Disability Worker Screening Clearance.

Existing workers or new workers who already have a valid yellow card or yellow card exemption won’t be required to get a Queensland Disability Worker Screening Clearance straight away. Their existing card can be used until it expires or is cancelled.

It is important for you to register with the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships’ Queensland Employer Portal. 

Workers providing state-funded disability services and supports are exempt from holding a Queensland disability worker screening clearance if they already hold a valid NDIS worker screening clearance or for school students in certain limited circumstances.

It is an offence for a state funded provider to engage or continue to engage a worker to carry out state funded disability work unless they hold a clearance. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

Interim Bars and Exclusions

An ‘Interim Bar’ may be imposed on worker screening applications if assessable information is received that is of concern. This will prohibit them from working while their application is in progress. NDIS registered employers will be notified of any interim bars or exclusions through the NWSD, while state-funded disability services providers will be notified directly by the Worker Screening Unit.

It is an offence for an employer to have a worker who is issued with an interim bar or exclusion carry out NDIS work or state funded disability supports or services. Penalties apply for non-compliance.

Record keeping requirements

Under the new disability worker screening system, employers are required to review their record keeping requirements.

View the record keeping requirements for registered NDIS providers.

Yellow Card Holders

Please note existing yellow card and yellow card exemptions will remain valid until their expiry date. For specific information relating to the transition to the new system for yellow card holders, yellow card exemption holders or negative notice holders and their employers please see Transitional arrangements for NDIS employers fact sheet (PDF, 155 KB) Transitional arrangements for NDIS employers fact sheet (DOCX, 71 KB).

Your Obligations:

The commencement of new Disability Worker Screening Laws means clearance card applicants, workers and employers all have new obligations which must be met to avoid facing penalty. The below tables highlight these obligations and subsequent penalties under the Disability Services Act 2006 and are to be read in conjunction with the fact sheets on our website. Please refer to the fact sheets if you are unsure of any terms or require further information.

 

Offence

Penalty

(please note - penalty units are subject to change. Dollar amounts listed are an estimate only and current at July 2022)

Employers

 

Disability workers must have a valid clearance

A registered NDIS provider must not engage, or continue to engage a person to carry out risk-assessed NDIS work unless the person holds a valid NDIS clearance or interstate NDIS clearance (section 53 Disability Services Act 2006 or DSA).

A funded service provider must not engage a person to carry out State disability work without an NDIS or a State clearance. (section 59)

Up to 200 penalty units ($28,750) or 2 years’ imprisonment.

Engaging workers with exclusion, interim bar or suspended clearance is prohibited.

An NDIS service provider must not engage or continue to engage a person to carry out NDIS disability work if the person holds a suspended clearance, is subject to an interim bar or they hold an exclusion, whether issued by Queensland or an interstate worker screening unit (sections 55 and 56).

A funded service provider must not enage or continue to engage a person to carry out state disability work if the person holds a suspended clearance, is subject to an interim bar, or holds an exclusion whether issued by Queensland or an interstate worker screening unit (for NDIS applications). (sections 59 and 60)

Up to 200 penalty units ($28,750) or 2 years’ imprisonment.

Annual Risk Management Strategy

Each year, a state-funded service provider that engages one or more persons to carry out State disability work must develop and implement a written “risk management strategy” that follows the requirements set out in section 58 of the Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld).

Up to 20 penalty units ($2,875).

Secondary School Students

A registered NDIS provider must ensure that any work experience students they engage don't carry out NDIS disability work, in a risk assessed role, unless the student is under the direct supervision of a person who holds an NDIS clearance or interstate NDIS clearance (section 43 and 53).

A funded service provider must ensure any work experience students they engage do not carry out State disability work unless under the direct supervision of a person who wholds a clearance (section 43 and 59).

Up to 200 penalty units ($28,750) or 2 years’ imprisonment.

Workers (including applicants and clearance holders)

Making an application prohibited

A person who holds an exclusion or an interstate NDIS exclusion must not make a disability worker screening application (section 64).

Up to 500 penalty units ($71,875) or 5 years imprisonment.

False or Misleading Information

A person must not give information or a document containing information that the person knows is false or misleading to the WSU or an NDIS or funded service provider that engages or proposes to engage the person (section 138ZZ).

Up to 100 penalty units ($14,375) or 2 years’ imprisonment.

Must have valid clearance

A person must not start or continue to carry out disability work for a registered NDIS provider or funded service provider, or as an NDIS or State sole trader without a valid disability worker clearance (sections 54 and 61).

Up to 500 penalty units ($71,875) or 5 years’ imprisonment.

Exclusion holder prohibited from working in NDIS or State disability work

If a person holds an NDIS exclusion or an interstate NDIS exclusion, they must not carry out NDIS disability work for an NDIS service provider (whether NDIS registered or not) or as an NDIS sole trader (section 57).

If a pserion holds an exclusion, they must not carry out State disability work for the department or a funded service provider or as a State sole trader (section 61).

Up to 500 penalty units ($71,875) or 5 years’ imprisonment.

Interim bars and suspended clearances

If an interim bar has been imposed on an applicant, they must not start or continue to carry out disability work for an NDIS service provider, funded service provider or the department. (section 84).

If a person's clearance has been suspended, the person must not start or continue to carry out disability work for an NDIS service provider, funded service provider or the department (section 113).

Up to 500 penalty units ($71,875) or 5 years’ imprisonment.

Return suspended or cancelled card

A suspended or cancelled card must be returned to the WSU immediately. (section 128).

Without reasonable excuse - up to 100 penalty units ($14,375).

Change of name, or contact details

If there is a change in an applicant's name, address or other contact details, they must notify the WSU within 7 days by submitting the 'Advise of change of details' form found on the website. Alternatively, they can update their details through the online worker portal (section 104).

If there is a change in a clearance holder’s name, address or other contact details, they must notify the WSU within 14 days by submitting the 'Advise of change of details' form found on the website Alternatively, they can update their details through the online worker portal (section 104).

Up to 10 penalty units ($1,437.50)

Change in work status

If a worker is issued a clearance on the basis that they are a volunteer or carry out unpaid disability work, and during the term of that clearance their work status changes - they must notify the WSU within 14 days of the change occuring by submitting the 'Advise of change in work status (volunteer to paid) and making payment. Forms are available on the wesbite (section 103).

Up to 10 penalty units ($1,437.50).

Change in police or other information

If a clearance holder or applicant becomes aware of a change in their criminal or other disciplinary or assessable information, they must notify the WSU immediately by submitting the 'Advise of change in police information or other risk assessment matters' available on the website (section 104).

Up to 100 penalty units ($14,375).

Lost or Stolen Card

If a clearance holder’s card is lost or stolen they must apply for a replacement or to cancel their clearance within 14 days by submitting the 'Application for a replacement card' form available on the website, or request a replacement card through the online worker portal (section 105).

Up to 10 penalty units ($1,437.50).

Return replaced card

If a replacement card is issued other than because the holder’s original card expired or was lost or stolen, the original card must be returned to the WSU within 14 days. If a holder regains possession of a lost or stolen card after replacement, the original card must be returned to the WSU within 7 days (section 107).

Without reasonable excuse – up to 10 penalty units ($1,437.50).