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Home care fraught for employer industrial relations: VHA forum told

Posted 08 May 2017

The advent of consumer-directed healthcare like the NDIS, home care and other aged care services has created a raft of potential risks and safety issues for health services, the VHA Industrial Relations forum was told last week.

Caitlin Walsh, associate of Russell Kennedy lawyers told the audience of human resource professionals that home care, in particular, was fraught due to potential dangers like “biting dogs”, aggressive consumers or family members and unsafe physical spaces.

VHA CEO Tom Symondson said the forum was a response to members wrestling with anticipated industrial matters arising from recent healthcare reforms.

“With a workforce the magnitude and complexity of Victoria’s health sector, it’s not surprising that industrial relations has become one of the biggest challenges for CEOs and senior managers,” Mr Symondson said.

“We all know the health landscape is changing dramatically. The significant increase in individualised funding looks set to drive major change in employment practices.

“Our health services and their staff need support in this area,” Mr Symondson said.

“Today’s workplace is definitely a tricky place. A challenging, moveable feast for health employers.”

Other speakers included the VMIA’s Specialist in Employment Law Claims John Britt, Head of Insights Dr Gabby Fennessy (pictured) and Principle Workplace Relations Advisor Tim Nagle.

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