code of conduct

As an AmeCare employee, you are expected to...

  • Respect participants’ rights to freedom of expression, self-determination, and decision making

  • Respect the privacy of people with disabilities and mental health

  • Provide support in a safe and competent manner with due care and skill

  • Always act with integrity, honesty and transparency

  • Promptly take steps to act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to participants

  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct

  • Adhere to to ALL AmeCare policies and procedures, including following guidelines from relevant support/care plans

  • Take a form of identification to each rostered shift

  • Always provide evidence of shifts delivered to participants. All employees must sign on and off for each shift via the rostering app on their smart devices, and must complete a progress note within 24 hours of the beginning of EACH shift.

  •  Be punctual to every rostered shift; call the participant and the office as soon as practicable to advise if there are any reasons you are delayed.

  • Inform the office with at least 24-hours notice if you cannot attend an allocated shift.

  • Take responsibility to always be aware of and keep up to date with: laws, regulations, OH&S procedures, and changes to policies and procedure.

  • Maintain professional boundaries at all times; you have the responsibility to behave professionally, and NOT engage in activities outside the parameters of the support you are providing

  • Do not use your mobile phone for personal use whilst on rostered time – only use your phone for professional/necessary reasons e.g. calling the office, completing progress notes, logging in and out of your shift, or at the participant’s request (for example, internet search for movie times)

  • Respect participants’ cultural, linguistic, religious, and spiritual preferences and background

  • Maintain a working environment where support services can be delivered safely and effectively

  • You are not permitted to smoke on your rostered time (unless you are on an allocated break time)

  • Under no circumstances are you to engage in bullying, or make disrespectful/invalidating comments or judgements about the participants you support

  • Staff are not to discuss any dissatisfaction or concerns about AmeCare with other staff (i.e. engage in unsolicited gossip)

travel & reimbursement

Being employed with AmeCare as a support worker involves assisting participants with their independent living skills, and helping them reach and accomplish their NDIS goals.

 

A significant element of this requires staff to be willing to assist participants with community access

Participants may require you to go in a taxi or on public transport with them, as well as take them to various appointments, programs, and events using your personal vehicle.

 

Please specify upon induction what vehicle you have (e.g. how many seats, hatchback/sedan/ute, whether you have a baby seat installed, etc). This crucial information to help us determine which participants you are able to support.

  • AmeCare is not responsible for covering the costs for situations including, but not limited to:

    • If you need to purchase a Myki card

    • Accompanying a participant to a place with entry fees, ticket pricing, or admission costs and the participant does not hold a valid Companion Card

    • Parking tickets, including parking fines

  • In these situations:

    • You will be provided an AmeCare ID card and lanyard that may assit you with entry

    • You will need to negotiate about costs with the participant directly (e.g. plan ahead and assist with budgeting).

    • You may need to support the participant in applying for a companion card.

  • If you have sought and been given approval for reimbursement, receipts need to be given to your house manager/team leader or directly emailed to our accounts person/s

  • PLEASE NOTE: the reimbursement rate for travel is 0.80 cents per kilometre travelled.

    • You can claim a minimum of 10km and maximum of 50km per shift. Anything outside of this is your personal responsibility to claim on tax.

    • Over 50km claimed per shift need to be either prior-approved by management (e.g. to go on a day-trip) and, if not, will be investigated before being approved.

    • If you travel over 50km without prior approval, there is no guarantee that this will be reimbursed back to you.

confidentiality

It is a condition of your employment that you have a duty of confidentiality with regards to AmeCare participants, files and any other sensitive information.

During your employment you may find yourself in possession of sensitive information, the disclosure of which could be construed as a breach of confidentiality.

It is a condition of your employment that you have a duty of confidentiality to the Company, and you must not discuss any Company sensitive or confidential matter whatsoever with any outside organisation including the media.

Any such breach of confidentiality would be deemed as gross misconduct except as otherwise provided or as permitted by any current legislation (i.e. The Disability Act 2006 or the Privacy Act 1988) and could lead to your dismissal.

disability worker exclusion scheme (DWES)

Your employment with AmeCare is conditional upon/subject to the operation of the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES), which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

Upon intake, completing the DWES form/s means that you consent to AmeCare and the department collecting your sensitive personal information for the purposes of compiling the Disability Worker Exclusion List.

Information collected includes: 

  • your criminal history, employment history, and engagement history

 

Subsequently, your conduct/engagement within and outside of AmeCare whilst an employee could result in you being placed on the Disability Worker Exclusion List.

 

Being placed on this list could jeopardise your ability to be engaged by a disability service provider, as per the Disability Act (Vic) definition below:

“Disability Worker, being a person engaged by a disability service provider who:

  • Provides, or supervises, or manages a person who provides direct support to a person with a disability, and

  • Has direct contact or access to a person with a disability”

 

Being placed on this list could result in you being excluded from any work at the disability service that falls within the definition of:

  • As a Disability Worker, or

  • That involves regular direct contract with or access to a person with a disability

Upon signing the DWES form:

  • If you are placed on the list or a notification is made about you, you agree that the department may inform any other disability service provider or authorised labour hire agency that is currently engaging you, of your status in the industry. This may occur if a disability service provider has notified the department that you have engaged in conduct which may fall within the Exclusion List criteria.

  • Upon employment, you must inform AmeCare of the name and address of any other organisation you have previous or current engagement with, as well as any other organisation you intend to become engaged by.

incident reporting

It is the responsibility of each employee to report any hazards, incidents, or injuries irrespective of how minor they may be.

 

Any incident involving a participant, employee, students, volunteers, members of the community, or other employess MUST be reported to management (see contact list). 

 

This includes each time emergency services is called to your place of employment.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES FOR MANAGING AN INCIDENT

  1. ASSESS & RESPOND to immediate safety concerns

  2. TAKE ACTION to re-establish a safe environment. 
    This includes crisis management as well as ensuring adequate follow up, e.g. checking in with people involved after the incident as resolved)

  3. INCIDENT REPORT.
    To be completed within 24-hours of the incident occurring

  4. FOLLOW UP.
    Management to record details of the incident (including response and action taken) to investigate precursors and minimise likelihood of reoccurrence.

on the job

Before you start...

  • All employees of AmeCare will be required to undergo a criminal records office check.

  • This is because your employment with us means you are likely to come into contact with children or vulnerable adults (or certain other particular circumstances).

  • You must provide a police check that is not older then 3 months prior to commencement with AmeCare.

  • Employees must also take responsibility for renewing your police check every three years.

Relevant policies include, but are not limited to: 

  • Valuing Diversity & Dignity at Work

  • Rights of Staff

  • Training & Development

  • Safety, Health & Wellbeing

Appearance 

AmeCare does not seek to inhibit individual choice in relation to your appearance; however, employees are expected to dress appropriately at all times in relation to their role; as well as ensure that personal hygiene and grooming are properly attended to prior to presenting at work. If you have any queries about what is appropriate, these should be directed to your line manager.

​Phone use, personal calls & internet use

  • Mobile phones are to be on silent for the duration of your shift, and may not be used to make personal phone calls or messages or use social media. You may ONLY use your phone when:

    • logging on and off your shift

    • speaking with management/admin if there are concerns relevant to your shift

    • writing progress notes and/or referring to client profiles

  • Under NO CRICUMSTANCES are staff to write anything about AmeCare or participants on their personal social media platforms.

    • AmeCare has an organisational Instagram and Facebook group (@amecare_gems) that you are welcome to connect with and communicate on, as this is monitored closely to ensure only people known to AmeCare have access.

  • Our employees must not use any household Wi-Fi or internet to:

    • Download or upload obscene, offensive or illegal material

    • Send confidential information to unauthorized recipients

    • Invade another person’s privacy and sensitive information

    • Download or upload movies, music and other copyrighted material and software

    • Visit potentially dangerous websites that can compromise the safety of our network and computers.

** You will receive a written warning for unauthorised/inappropriate phone use (refer: Warnings)

complaints & feedback

How to support someone who wants to make a complaint, or provide feedback

 

Listen to the complaint or feedback carefully

 

Check that you understand what is being said; ask questions to make sure you understand what the issue is and what the person wants done about the situation

 

Support the person to put their complaint/feedback in writing; check with the person that the written record is a true account of what they have described (e.g. by reading it back to them or geting them to read it aloud)

 

The house manager/team leader/support worker and complaints officer will investigate or take required action within two business days of receiving the complaint

 

The complaints officer/admin team will make sure that a record of each complaint is made, including:

  • who made the complaint?

  • who recorded the complaint?

  • the date of the complaint

  • the topic and details of the complaint (make sure you do not include your own opinions, just the facts and what the complainant says)

  • action/s taken in relation to the complaint

  • the date and method of communication to the complainant

 

As per the admin team/management/complaint officer’s instructions, keep the complainant informed of the progress and any actions being taken to resolve the concerns; inform the complainant of the required action/decision made upon resolution and the reasons why.

 

If the matter is unresolved or the person wants to take their complaint further provide them with relevant contacts as per our complaints process

warnings & disciplinary actions

** This list is not exhaustive and all occasions warrant a full and proper investigation to determine appropriate action taken

Verbal Warning

  • When is it necessary for the manager in charge to take action against the employee for any minor failing or minor misconduct

1st Written Warning

  • a verbal warning has not been heeded and the misconduct is either repeated, or performance has not improved as previously agreed

  • an offence is more serious nature & a written warning is most appropriate

  • recurrence or accumulation of an offence that, if left, will lead to more severe disciplinary action

2nd Written Warning

  • a verbal warning has not been heeded and the misconduct is either repeated, or performance has not improved as previously agreed

  • recurrence or accumulation of an offence that, if left, will lead to more severe disciplinary action

Final Written Warning

  • An offence is of a serious nature falling just short of one justifying a dismissal

  • An employee persists in the misconduct which previously warranted a lesser warning

Dismissal

  • An employee’s behaviour is considered to be Gross Misconduct

  • An employee’s misconduct has persisted, exhausting all other lines of disciplinary action

Time scales for the expiry of Warnings

** Under the provision that during that period of time, no further warnings have been issued in respect of the employee’s contract

  • Verbal Warning – 6 months

  • 1st & 2nd Written Warnings – 12 months from the date of each warning

  • Final Written Warnings – 18 months (or as agreed to and recorded at formal meeting)

Examples of Minor Misconduct

  • Persistent lateness / poor time-keeping

  • Absence from work, including leaving work during rostered time without valid reason or authorisation

  • Unauthorised/ inappropriate phone use

  • Incompetence / Failure to work in accordance with prescribed procedures

  • Unreasonable standard/s of dress or personal hygiene

  • Failure to observe company regulations and procedures

  • Bullying, abuse, and/or violence toward staff, client, or any other persona associated within the AmeCare network

Possible disciplinary action warranted

 

  • Verbal Warning

  • 1st Written Warning

  • 2nd Written Warning

Examples of Gross Misconduct

  • Three (3) incidences of minor misconduct

  • Breach of confidentiality, prejudicial to the interest of the company

  • Being unfit for duty as a result of misuse/ consumption of drugs and/or alcohol

  • Refusal to carry out a management directive which is within the individual’s capabilities, and which would be seen to be in the interests of the company

  • Breach of confidentiality/ security features

  • Bribing or attempting to bribe another individual; personally taking or knowingly allowing another person to take a bribe

  • Breach of confidentiality/ security features

  • Bribing or attempting to bribe another individual; personally taking or knowingly allowing another person to take a bribe

  • Physical assault; breach of the peace; verbal abuse

  • False declaration of qualifications or professional registration

  • Theft, including unauthorised possession of company policy

  • Physical assault; breach of the peace; verbal abuse

  • False declaration of qualifications or professional registration

  • Failure to observe company rules, regulations, or procedures

  • Willful damage of property at work

  • Incompetence; failure to apply sound professional judgement

Possible disciplinary action warranted

 

  • 2nd Written Warning

  • Final Warning

  • Demotion

  • Dismissal

All letters of warning that may be given to Employees must contain the following information:

  • Issued within 7 days of the date of the disciplinary meeting

  • The nature of the offence and, where appropriate, details of more severe disciplinary action if further misconduct occurs

  • Period of time given to the employee for improvement

  • The employee’s right to appeal to the manager directly above that of the one issuing the warning

  • A copy of the warning and any supporting documentation must be attached to the individual’s personnel file; the employee must also receive a copy of the warning in which case any written warning will be sent to their home address by recorded deliviery, if not handed to them in person

  • In the case of a final written warning, reference must be made to the fact that:

    • any further misconduct will lead to dismissal

    • the employee’s right to appeal; and details of how to make an appeal

  • In the case of a dismissal, the letter will contain the following information:

    • The reason for dismissal and any administrative matter arising from the termination of their employment

    • The employee’s right to appeal; and details of how to make an appeal

​Appeals 

  • Every employee has the right to appeal against the outcome of a disciplinary outcome meeting.

  • The basis of an appeal usually relates to one of the following areas:

    • that the Companys' Procedure had not been followed correctly

    • that the resulting disciplinary action was inappropriate

    • that the need for disciplinary action was not warranted

    • that new information regarding disciplinary action, has arisen

  • An appeal should be put in writing. The letter of appeal may be constructed by the employee or their representative.

  • The letter should contain the grounds for appeal and should be lodged within 10 days of receipt of the warning / dismissal letter.

  • An appeal will be arranged within 20 working days of receipt of the appeal letter.

In the case of verbal and first warnings:

  • the appeal will be heard by the manager next in line to the one who issued the warning.

In the case of appeals against Downgrading, Final Warnings and/or Dismissal

  • The hearing and determining of appeals against final warnings and dismissal will be heard by the appropriate Director or Chief Executive. They may also involve another senior manager / Director not previously involved with the case.

  • When dealing with an appeal against a Final Warning or Dismissal written statements of case may be submitted no later than 2 days prior to the date of Appeal Hearing. No additional written evidence will be admitted by the Appeal Committee on the date of the Hearing.

  • Witnesses may be required by either party at an appeal hearing, dependent upon the circumstances and nature of the case. However, there is no specific obligation on either party to produce a witness. Either party must give 5 days prior notice that they intend to call specific persons involved or associated with the case under consideration.

  • It is the responsibility of the management representative and for the appellant to each arrange for the availability and attendance of any witness they wish to call.

End of Employment 

 

Unless your employment is terminated by agreement, or specified otherwise in your principal statement of terms and conditions, you or AmeCare are required to give a period of notice in writing as follows:

 

  • one week's notice after one month's employment

  • two weeks after one year but less than three

  • three weeks after three years and up to 5 years

  • For more than 5 years of service, 4 weeks’ notice must be given to AmeCare

 

These periods of notice will apply if you are dismissed on grounds of inefficiency or if your dismissal is the result of disciplinary proceedings in circumstances where summary dismissal is not justified. Your employment may be terminated without notice where dismissal follows disciplinary proceedings.