14 July 2022

Life Without Barriers' supports the NDIA's call for qualified Disability Support Workers to join a national Winter Relief Workforce this winter.

A girl in a wheelchair is at a playground with a person assisting her.

With winter comes the flu season, causing a chain reaction of workforce shortages across the country. When the workforce is struck by illness, this directly impacts people with disabilities who rely on support services.

The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, is calling on qualified Disability Support Workers (DSW), who are not currently working as a DSW, to join a register to cover potential workforce shortages over the winter months.

“The disability workforce isn’t immune to workforce shortages that often happen during winter,” Minister Shorten said.

The NDIA, working with IPA Personnel, has developed a register of skilled disability workers who can be called up on a short-term basis when there are critical local workforce shortages. The register will help to reduce workforce disruptions and ensure the continuity of support for NDIS participants.

This includes:

  • Former DSWs or final placement students.

  • Candidates with a minimum Certificate III in Disability or equivalent qualifications and experience working with people with disability.

  • Those that have or are willing to obtain appropriate worker clearance and police checks.

  • People not currently working in disability support.

If you meet the above criteria, come forward and help support people with disability in your local community this winter.

Kurt Fearnley, Life Without Barriers' Director, said "A great initiative for when it hits hardest, over winter."

For more information or to join the Winter Relief Workforce register, visit the IPA website.

Two people in purple polo shirts and black jackets are pictured talking to each other. Text reads: Join now! Join the Winter Relief Workforce. Learn more at winterrelief.com.au


1. Who are they looking for?

The NDIS is looking for disability support workers who have recently left the sector or disability support students who have done their placement, who are prepared to sign up for a register to fill critical shifts over winter. Qualified candidates must have or be willing to obtain appropriate worker clearance and police checks, and must not be currently working in disability support.

2. What is the Winter Relief Workforce about?

Winter and flu season means the NDIA need to create a national register of skilled former disability support workers willing to fill local shortages temporarily. The Winter Relief Workforce is a special team of qualified disability support workers, signed up to fill critical shifts over winter.

3. Who is behind the Winter Relief Workforce?

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is working with IPA Personnel Services to assemble and manage the Winter Relief Workforce so that critical staff shortages can be filled over winter.

IPA Personnel Services is a certified social enterprise recruitment agency, and it is experienced in supporting candidates across a range of industries.

The NDIA is an independent government statutory agency responsible for implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

4. Why should I support and register for the Winter Relief Workforce?

Across the country, the NDIA are looking for people willing to sign up to the register as part of the Winter Relief Workforce for disability support workers.

Winter and flu season means we need to create a national register of skilled disability support workers willing to fill local shortages temporarily.

You could be a part of a team lending a much-needed hand throughout a difficult time:

  • If you are you a former disability support worker or final placement student,

  • Have the appropriate worker clearance and police checks?

  • And you are prepared to do paid shifts over winter when there is a critical local need.

5. How do I join the Winter Relief Workforce?

You can begin your application for the Winter Relief Workforce at the form on www.winterrelief.com.au by providing five simple pieces of information which will be kept confidential.

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