I hope you are all keeping safe and looking after yourselves.
My main message today is to our Supported Employees and their families, to update you in regard to the COVID19 virus, decisions made by Delando and what financial opportunities there may be for you.
As stated last month, we decided that Delando, as an essential service and an essential provider of supported employment that we would continue to operate all aspects of our service provision.
One key reason for the continuation of service, particularly for our supported employees, was to provide consistency and emotional support to people who continued to come to work.
Supported employees and their families had to make a choice about whether they attended work; however, if we closed all our services, then the choice to attend work, would have been removed.
It is respected and accepted that some people have made a choice to self-quarantine. I understand that for all of us at this time, we have had to make unexpected and difficult decisions.
As directed by the Federal Government, supported employees who are self-quarantining can access any Annual or Personal (sick) leave owing to them.
Additionally, if they have long service leave this can also be accessed. If you have any questions you can contact the Delando office.
Where possible, we have sought to make weekly contact with people to check in on them, letting them know that they are part of the Delando community; this contact has been positively received and welcomed by many.
These are difficult times and like many family members, service providers have to make decisions on what they will do and how they will do it. Our decision was to continue to provide a service.
We have been maintaining our social distance, thoroughly washing our hands, and ensuring that we abide by all of the standards set by our governments; consequently, all staff members, supported employees and participants have remained safe and healthy.
In light of my decision to continue providing service, I wish to thank the wonderful Delando staff members who continue to provide service; thank you for your good-will, respectful interactions and your dedication, it is greatly appreciated.
Financial Support for Supported Employees
The provision of information to both our supported employees and staff members has put us on a steep learning curve, and while, something like the Jobkeeper Scheme is a great initiative by the Government, the concrete details were slow to be released and then we have to interpret how it works prior to implementing it.
From the information that I have received on today, it appears that specific supported employees, who have been available for work could be eligible for the Jobkeeper Scheme.
For the supported employees who have chosen to self-quarantine and have been unavailable for work, I am unsure if this will apply to you.
On this matter I will need to seek further advice and I will send more information out next week.
There are some questions on how the Jobkeeper payment might impact on a person’s Disability Support Pension, so once we have processed the information and we can provide you with clear and factual information, we will do so.
In terms of other financial assistance, the Australian Government Social Services Departments states:
If you are currently receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP), Age Pension or Carer Payment, you are eligible for the Economic Support Payment of $750, which was paid to you between 31 March 2020 and 17 April 2020. You will receive a second payment of $750 from 13 July 2020 if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
You do not need to apply for this payment, it will be automatically paid to you.
My continued thanks for your support during these challenging times.
Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and others.