Supported Independent Living

MANUAL

Section 1.1Governance

ACCESS & EQUITY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to access and equity principles. Home Caring takes the view that access and equity is about removing the barriers to access and establishing methods of support to enable participation and opening opportunities for all; with the specific purpose being to eliminate all forms of discrimination and inequity in the provision of goods and services in the organisation. Specifically, Home Caring will seek to ensure appropriate standards are established and maintained in relation to:

  • Cultural Diversity: To improve provision of services to people from cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) Groups and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community;
  • Access: Services are available to everyone who is entitled to choose them and should be free of any form of discrimination;
  • Equity: Services should be developed and delivered based on fair treatment of anyone eligible to receive them;
  • Communication: The organisation shall inform eligible consumers of services, their entitlements to them and how to access them;
  • Responsiveness: Services should be sensitive to the needs of consumers from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and to be as responsive to them as possible;
  • Effectiveness: Services should be results oriented and focussed on meeting the needs of consumers from all backgrounds;
  • Efficiency: Services should optimise the use of their resources through a user responsive approach to service delivery;
  • Accountability: The organisation shall have reporting mechanisms in place which ensures they are accountable for implementing access and equity objectives for consumers.

PROCEDURE:

  1. The Board is responsible for establishing and implementing the access and equity framework into the organisation.
  2. Managers and Leaders are responsible for ensuring that the access and equity framework established by the board is applied fairly and consistently across their respective area of influence and the wider organisation, and to act to address and resolve issues arising in access and equity. They do this by:
    1. Provision of information regardless of ethnicity, gender etc
    2. Recruitment practices are based on merits and not by gender, ethnicity etc
  3. All employees and volunteers are supported to apply the principles of access and equity in the way they undertake their roles and functions by:
    1. Bring access and participation barriers, and ideas for solution, to the attention of management;
    2. Share positive/successful strategies with colleagues, supervisors and partners in care;
  4. Any employee who experiences discrimination can contact their supervisor or HR Coordinator (as a first point of contact) and other external agencies if required ie. fair trading, fair work. Read in conjunction with complaints policy

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Sex discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Workplace Gender Quality Act 2012 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Anti-discrimination policy
  • Effective workplace environment policy
  • Governance policy
  • Human Resources management policy
  • Complaints policy

ACCIDENT, INCIDENT/ & HAZARD REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group fosters a culture where employees, contractors and service providers acknowledge that most accidents and incidents are preventable.  Where unwanted events occur, Home Caring aims to ensure that accident and incident details and information are captured, investigated and managed in an effective way to ensure that the learnings and opportunities arising from unwanted events can be utilised to ensure repeat events are avoided.

PROCEDURE:

  1. In the event of an incident or hazard occurring, where it is safe to do so, the person identifying the incident or hazard should take appropriate immediate action to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury or damage (e.g. isolating the hazard, containing spills).
  2. In the case of an injury, depending upon the severity of the injury and the injured person’s preference, appropriate first aid or medical attention should be sought.
  3. All serious and notifiable incidents must be reported immediately to the relevant manager who will contact the Operations Manager /MD who will arrange for contact with relevant WorkCover body
  4. The manager / supervisor or person responsible for managing or controlling the workplace where a notifiable incident has occurred, must ensure, as far is reasonably practicable, that the site where the incident occurred is not disturbed until a WorkCover Inspector arrives onsite or any earlier time that an inspector directs.
  5. An accident or incident is an unwanted or unfortunate event or anything that occurs unexpectedly. An occupational hazard is any physical or environmental factor, which could create harm or injury in the workplace eg. frayed electrical cords, chemicals or faulty equipment etc. An accident or incident includes, but not limited to:
    1. A mishap in any client medical procedure e.g. medication error.
    2. A sudden change or deterioration in the client’s overall health status (physically, behavioural etc). IF STAFF CANNOT COMPLETE DESIGNATED TASKS THEY MUST CONTACT THE ROSTER COORDINATOR IMMEDIATELY.
    3. The client being a victim of physical or verbal abuse from another individual or Care Staff.
    4. Staff are a victim of physical or verbal abuse from the client or other individual in the workplace.
    5. An Adverse event in which the client was at risk of death or serious injury at the time of the event; or untoward medical occurrence that involves a client which results in a clinical investigation
    6. Any other unexpected event.
  6. For life threatening medical emergencies to either the client or staff member, staff are to contact Emergency Services
  7. Staff involved in any incident, accident or hazard should:
    1. Immediately alert the responsible manager that an incident has occurred.
    2. Complete the Incident/Hazard Report Form
    3. Save the report and email to the manager within 24 hours.
    4. Manager to record incident on incident register
  8. The Manager is required to:
    1. In consultation with the relevant staff members and clients including family members review the information in the report and decide upon, record and implement corrective action within an agreed timeframe
    2. identify and implement the corrective and / or preventative actions required to prevent a recurrence of the event and develop an agreed time frame for the corrective actions to be implemented.
    3. The corrective actions will be reviewed by the Operations Manager to ensure that any risks to health and safety are eliminated, or where not reasonably practicable, minimised.
    4. Monitor the corrective actions put in place to ensure it remains effective.

ACCIDENTS & INCIDENTS FOR NON-EMERGENCIES        

  1. In the event of a workplace Accident or Incident of a minor nature involving the Client and Care Staff, staff MUST:
    1. Administer first aid as required.
    2. Immediately notify the appropriate Manager and /or after hours and follow specific instructions from them.
    3. Seek medical advice.
    4. Document the Accident / Incident in the Client Progress Notes.
    5. Obtain and complete an Accident / Incident / Hazard form from the Office, and send to manager within 24 hours.

REPORTABLE INCIDENTS (NDIS)

  1. An incident is reportable to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in the following instances:
    1. Death of NDIS participant
    2. Serious injury of NDIS participant
    3. Abuse or neglect of NDIS participant
    4. Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, an NDIS participant
    5. Sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, an NDIS participant, including grooming of the NDIS participant for sexual activity
    6. Unauthorised use of a restrictive practice.
  2. Once the manager has been made aware of any of the above incidents, the reporting officer will lodge Reportable Incident to the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission within 24 hours. Manager to notify Operations Manager. They can also contact the Commission on 1800 035 544.
  3. The Reportable Incident investigation will be completed within 5 business days of the event by the Manager in conjunction with Operations Manager and reported to NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission via the portal.
  4. A final report may be required as per NDIS Quality & Safeguards request.

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS /ADVERSE EVENTS

  1. A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm.The risk is the likelihood that a hazard will cause specific harm and consequences.
  2. Hazards can be identified by any employee, consumer or visitor
  3. All foreseeable hazards, near misses, incidents and Adverse events, must be reported immediately to Manager or After-Hours Operator.
  4. Staff must act upon directions and instructions given to staff by the Manager within the time frame, to eliminate or minimise the risk if possible
  5. Staff must complete an Accident / Incident / Hazard Form and return to the office within 24 hours
  6. All foreseeable hazards and incidents must be documented in the clients’ file, if applicable.
  7. The Manager will investigate the risk and complete a risk assessment.
  8. The Manager must report the risk to Operations Manager including necessary control measures to ensure the risk is minimised
    1. Any risk that is not able to be controlled by employees on site must be reported to Operations Manager and/or Managing Director
  9. All identified hazards and control measures are raised at WH&S meeting/employees’ meetings and consumer feedback form as needed and documented on risk register.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)
  • Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW)
  • Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Regulation 2010 (NSW)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019

Related policies

  • WHS & General Safety
  • Risk assessment & controls policy
  • Return to Work policy
  • Human Resources Management

ADVERSE EVENTS MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to an effective management, reporting and monitoring of all adverse events within a quality risk management framework. An adverse event is viewed as an untoward or unplanned event in which as staff member, a client or their families are at risk of death or serious injury at the time of the event or an untoward medical occurrence that would have a negative impact on a client and which would result in a clinical investigation.

PROCEDURE:

  1. An adverse event may be identified by:
    1. A person affected by the event
    2. A staff member at the time of the event or post event
    3. When an unexpected outcome has taken place
    4. When there has been a complaint lodged to express dissatisfaction with the care provided
    5. The Incident reporting system
    6. The notification of family, advocates or friends of the client
  2. When an adverse event is reported, the Manager will assess the severity and impact of the event on the individual/s involved and:
    1. Take prompt and appropriate action to ensure that harm is minimised or prevented to the person/s
    2. Complete incident report form and escalate to relevant line managers.
    3. All incidents will be logged on Complaints and Hazard register and trends discussed at quarterly Board meetings.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)
  • Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW)
  • Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Regulation 2010 (NSW)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019

Related policies

  • Accident, Incident and Occupational Hazard response reporting policy
  • Incident Management policy
  • Human Rights Policy
  • Abuse & Neglect policy

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group has zero tolerance towards any discriminatory behaviour and is committed providing an environment which is safe for all staff and clients, free from all forms of discrimination, including but not limited to bullying, victimisation and sexual harassment.   Home Caring recognises that discriminatory practices can take place between: co-workers, a worker and a manager, client and worker.

PROCEDURE:

  1. All recruitment decisions at Home Caring are based on merit, the skills and abilities of the candidate as measured against the requirements of the position, regardless of personal characteristics.
  2. The Code of Conduct and Ethics policy outline Management and staff rights and responsibilities that include, but not limited to:
    1. A workplace free from discrimination, bullying, victimisation and sexual harassment
    2. Raise issues or to make a complaint without fear of retribution
    3. Reasonable flexibility in working arrangements, especially where needed to accommodate their family responsibilities, disability, religious beliefs or culture.
    4. All staff must treat everyone with dignity, courtesy and respect regardless of race, gender, culture, religion or sexual orientation, intersex status or gender identity.
  1. Responsibilities of Board, Executive staff and Managers include, but not limited to:
    1. Model appropriate standards of behaviour
    2. Treat all employees on their merits without regard for race, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation, intersex status or gender identity
    3. Take steps to educate and make staff aware of their obligations under this policy and the law
    4. Act fairly to resolve issues and enforce workplace behavioural standards

Unacceptable workplace conduct

  1. Discrimination is treating, or proposing to treat someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic (whether now or at some time in the future)protected by the Law. Examples of personal characteristics include but not limited to:
    1. A disability, disease or injury including work related injury
    2. Parental status or status as a carer
    3. Race, colour, descent, national origin or ethnic background
    4. Political opinion
  2. Bullying can take many forms that include but not limited to, including jokes, teasing, ignoring people or unfair work practices
    1. Behaviours that may constitute bullying include, but not limited to:
      1. Threats, abuse, shouting
      2. Coercion
  • Isolation
  1. Displaying written or pictorial material which degrades or offends
  2. Sexual harassment is a specific and serious form of harassment. It is unwelcome sexual behaviour which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be physical, spoken, written or implied.
  3. Victimisation is subjecting, intimidating and / or threatening to punish someone because they have:
    1. Asserted their rights under equal opportunity law
    2. Made a complaint
    3. Helped someone else make a complaint
    4. Refused to do something because it would be discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation.
  4. Victimisation in the workplace can include, but not limited to:
    1. Being denied a promotion or moved to a position with lower responsibility
    2. Dismissal from employment
    3. Being refused further work
  5. Gossip is having habitual unconstrained conversations with other people (such as co-workers, client and family members) about another employee of the company.

Managing complaints of unacceptable workplace conduct

  1. Any complaint or workplace harassment, bullying, victimisation will be treated seriously and investigated promptly, confidentiality and impartially. Complaints are investigated in accordance with the Staff complaints and resolution policy.
  2. Employees can seek additional support in the process, such as but not limited to:
    1. NSW Anti-Discrimination Board antidiscrimination.justice.nsw.gov.au
  3. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone (where it can be substantiated) who participates in unacceptable workplace conduct. Disciplinary action may involve: warning, transfer counselling, dismissal.
  4. All outcomes are documented on the respective staff files, where the incident involves sensitive information, this will be held with HR Corporate Services and not by the individual brands. Any issues that breach legislation will need be escalated to HR Coordinator at Home Caring Group.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Sex discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Workplace Gender Quality Act 2012 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Effective Workplace Environment policy
  • Human Resources management policy
  • Code of Conduct and Ethics policy
  • Workplace environment policy
  • Human Rights policy
  • Work Health and Safety policy
  • Sexual harassment policy
  • Staff complaints and resolution policy

BOARD AND MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group has a Board who are legally charged with the responsibility to govern the organisation. The members of the Board bring a wide range of experience, knowledge, skills and expertise to the organisation.

PROCEDURE:

Relationship between the Board and Home Caring Group Operations

  1. The Board appoints the CEO/ Operations Manager, determines their salary, and manages their performance. The Board is, in turn, reliant on the Group CEO/ Operations Manager to manage the organisation effectively and implement the vision and strategies. The relationship between the Board and Group CEO/ Operations Manager is a critically important relationship for the effective governance and management of Home Caring Group.
    1. The Group CEO/ Operations Manager reports at all Board meetings as per Governance and Central Management Policy.
    2. Where the Board needs to have meeting discussions without the Group CEO/ Operations Manager’s presence, the Board can take these discussions into a private session with them absent. A record of notes from these sessions are kept by the Chairperson, circulated only to other Board members and not included in the general Board meeting minutes.
    3. Group CEO/ Operations Manager performance management. The Board is responsible for oversight of the Group CEO/ Operations Manager and for ensuring his/her performance is regularly reviewed. The Chairperson or Board delegate provides an ongoing supervisory/support role and leads the annual performance review of the Group CEO/ Operations Manager with one other Board member.

Board Governance

  1. The Role of the Board is to:
    1. Set strategic direction, specifying longer-term strategic outcomes, intended shorter-term results and priorities;
    2. Ensure that the organisation only exercises those powers and functions permitted under Corporation Act 2001
    3. Ensure there is a clear policy and delegation framework for all decisions that must be made within the organisation and effective internal control systems that ensure compliance;
    4. Characterise risk and ensure there is an effective process for managing and mitigating risk;
    5. Gather information about shareholders, consumers and other stakeholders’ concerns, needs and aspirations and remaining up to date in matters concerning their interests:
    6. Monitor and evaluate organisational performance and account for this to its members on a regular basis; always keeping shareholders consumers and stakeholders about matters of significance to them; ensure the proper keeping of records registers, accounts, reports and lodgement of documents;
    7. Set performance expectations for, and delegate authority to, the Group CEO/ Operations Manager and to monitor and evaluate his/her performance in a manner consistent with the expectation of both individual and corporate success

Board Code of Conduct

  1. Home Caring Board of Directors adheres to the Code of Conduct of Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  2. A Board member should, in respect of any corporate entity of which the Member is a director, comply with the following standards of conduct:
    1. The member should act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the company.
    2. The member has a duty to use care and diligence in fulfilling the functions of office and exercising the powers attached to that office.
    3. The member should use the powers of office for a proper purpose, in the best interests of the company.
    4. The member should recognise that the primary responsibility is to the company but may, where appropriate, have regard for the interest of other stakeholders of the company.
    5. The member should not make improper use of information acquired as a director.
    6. The member should not take improper advantage of the position of director.
    7. The member should properly manage any conflict with the interests of the company.
    8. The member has an obligation to be independent in judgement and actions and to take all reasonable steps to be satisfied as to the soundness of all decisions taken by the board of directors.
    9. Confidential information received by the member during the exercise of directorial duties remains the property of the company from which it was obtained and it is improper to disclose it, or allow it to be disclosed, unless that disclosure has been authorised by that company, or the person from whom the information is provided, or is required by law.
    10. The member should not engage in conduct likely to bring discredit upon the company.
    11. The member has an obligation, always, to comply with the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law and with the principles of this Code.

(Extract from Australian Institute of Company Directors Code of Conduct, approved September 2005)

Board Policies

  1. The Board “owns” the strategic plan and changes in strategic direction or key result areas can only be made by the Board. The Board shall constantly analyse and assess both external and internal factors that might inhibit, or assist Home Caring to achieve the key results in its strategic plan and pursuant to its strategic outcome and key results policies.
  1. The Board will be proactive in developing and stating its policies. Any Board member or the Group CEO/ Operations Manager may propose to the Board that a policy be added, altered or deleted.
  2. The proposed policy is consistent with existing governance policies and is not better suited to a procedures manual or other separate the Board has had sufficient time to consider the proposal and to understand the rationale for its adoption.
  3. All Board policies will be reviewed periodically according to a Board determined schedule.

Board Meetings

  1. Board meetings will focus on governance matters such as policy making and review, progress towards the achievement of strategic outcomes and key results, accountability and financial health of the organisation rather than on administrative and operational matters.
  2. Board meetings will be carefully planned by the Board itself to ensure that the best possible use is made of its time both on a meeting by meeting basis and over the course of each year.
  3. The Board Meets quarterly

Agenda Planning

  1. The Board prepares and follows an annual agenda that forms the basis for each successive Board meeting and in particular, schedules time for the Board to:
    1. regularly review strategic outcomes/key results policies and relevant strategic issues;
    2. provide assurance that all relevant compliance requirements are addressed,
    3. improve Board effectiveness through education and development.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Director of the Board duties include:
    1. Attend meetings as required. If a Director on the board fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings without the permission of the Chairperson their membership of the Board will lapse.
    2. Actively participate and contribute constructively to the productivity and outcomes of meetings.
    3. Declare any personal interest that might conflict with the interests of the Company or your duty as a Director on the board.
    4. Act in accordance with the Code of Conduct/Code of Ethics.
    5. Keep informed about the Company s business performance
    6. Act as a spokesperson for the Company when requested by the Board of Directors.
    7. Be a member of and/or chair of sub-committees/working Groups as required.
    8. Sign letters or documents on behalf of the Home Caring as required.
    9. Exercise delegation of authority and expenditure as determined by the Board of Directors.
    10. Provide a clear and viable direction for the Company, agree on priorities and oversee the development of Company strategic plan and/or relevant Plans
    11. Oversee the development of an annual budget.
    12. Ensure the solvency and financial viability of the Company
    13. Establish clear expectations for the performance of all Board of Directors, staff and volunteers.
    14. Ensure that appropriate systems are in place for recruitment and the performance appraisal and management of staff.
    15. Monitor the implementation of plans, budgets, policies and decisions and be able to recognise and take action when these are not implemented in an agreed way.
    16. Ensure sound risk management is in place by establishing and monitoring a risk management plan, including appropriate insurance cover.
    17. Ensure compliance with legislation, contracts and any other legal obligations.
    18. Undertake any relevant training required.
    19. Ensure the organisation meets the requirements specified in its Constitution, Corporations Law
    20. Oversee the signing of contracts.
    21. Monitor the performance of the Board of Directors
    22. Ensure that the Board of Directors are sustainable over time and that succession is well planned.
    23. Address any conflicts of interest within the Board of Directors and across the Company
  2. Office Bearers also have additional and specific Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Chairperson:
    1. The Chairperson has special responsibility for providing leadership. This leadership role includes ensuring that the Board of Directors is focussed on the business of the Company, that meetings are conducted properly and that an accurate record is kept of these meetings.
    2. Duties include:
      1. Provide strategic leadership and vision to the Board of Directors
      2. Monitor the performance of the Board of Directors in meeting their roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure regular meetings of the Board of Directors are held.
  1. Encourage all Board of Director members to attend meetings and monitor attendance with the assistance of the Secretary.
  2. Draw up an agenda for the meetings with the assistance of the Secretary.
  3. Prioritise agenda items and if necessary set time limits on discussion of agenda items.
  • Monitor and ensure that the Board of Directors gets through business in a timely manner.
  • Lead the meeting through the agenda, keeping discussion relevant and decision making clear and encouraging broad participation.
  1. Sign the minutes after they have been confirmed as an accurate record of the previous meeting.
  2. Ensure meetings are run in accordance with the Constitution and relevant governance policies and procedures of the organisation.
  3. Act as a spokesperson for the organisation.
  • Act as the Board of Director contact person for the GROUP CEO
  • Stay in touch with day-to-day operations in the organisation.
  • Exercise delegation of authority and expenditure as determined by the Board of Directors.
  1. As a Board of Directors, the Group as a whole must share responsibility and decision-making and it will therefore be an important part of the Treasurer’s role to ensure that other Board of Directors understand the information that is being presented and the implications of this information.

Personal and Legal Responsibility of the Board

  1. Personal responsibilities
    1. Once elected to the Board the individual will act on behalf of Home Caring Group to meet the goals and outcomes of the organisation.
    2. Home Caring Groups Board member’s duties include:
      1. Putting the interests of the organisation above all else
      2. Acting with care
  • Remaining always honest
  1. Avoiding any conflict of interest by being up-front about likely conflicts and withdrawing from any discussion or decisions where this is an issue
  2. Not divulging any confidential information outside of the Home Caring Group Board
  3. Complying with legislation and regulation that applies to Home Caring Group including NSW Incorporation Act/Corporations Act
  1. Home Caring Group Board members have a duty that requires them to act with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person in that position would exercise. Board members are required to:
    1. Make judgment in good faith for a proper purpose; and
    2. Not have a material personal interest in the subject matter of the judgment; and
  • Inform themselves about the subject matter of the judgment to the extent they reasonably believe to be appropriate; and
  1. Rationally believe that the judgment is in the best interests of Home Caring Group
  1. Home Caring Group Board members must be fully up-to-date with Home Caring ’s activities and take an active role in decision-making. Members need to:
    1. Attend all or most of Board meetings;
    2. Ensure they have read and considered all Board papers prior to the meeting and come prepared to discuss and debate decisions required;
  • Obtain sufficient information and advice about major activities or proposals put to the Board, before deciding whether to approve them

Specific Legal Responsibilities

  1. The Board is responsible for ensuring the organisation complies with a range of legal and other obligations.
  2. The Chairperson is the leader of the Board and along with the Group CEO/ Operations Manager the primary spokesperson for Home Caring Group. The role of the Chairperson requires more time than that of an ordinary Board member. Additional responsibilities for the Chairperson include:
    1. Steering the direction and performance of the organisation
    2. Facilitating relationships between Board members, between the Board and Home Caring Group’s stakeholders, and with the Group CEO/ Operations Manager
    3. Modelling and promoting high standards of behaviour and practice
    4. Chairing Board meetings and acting as final decision-maker in any such circumstances as when the vote is tied
    5. Developing meeting agendas with the Group CEO/ Operations Manager
    6. Preparing for the AGM.
  3. Within the leadership role, the Chairperson will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:
    1. Chairing or facilitating meetings
    2. Liaison and negotiation with the government and corporate sector, particularly funding agencies or foundations
    3. Staff supervision or human resource management skills
    4. Media interaction
    5. Financial management
  4. All Board members understand and sign acceptance of the Home Caring Groups Board Code of Ethics at commencement of their tenure. The Code of Ethics outlines expectations of Board members’ behaviour, including confidentiality and safety.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 NSW
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Regulatory Compliance policy
  • Leadership & Accountability policy

BUSINESS CONTINUITY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to ensuring that all Company business activities can be kept at normal or near-normal performance following an incident that has the potential to disrupt or destroy Home Caring.  Business continuity management arrangements will be consistent with and integrated to quality and risk management arrangements.  The business continuity policy aims to:

  • facilitate and review business continuity management across the company
  • integrate business continuity management into the risk management culture of the company
  • foster an environment where Manager stewards assume responsibility for managing business continuity.

To secure our commitment to implement business continuity management, we aim to:

  • identify and prioritise the types of events that could cause a disaster for the organisation and give a broad indication of the consequences of such events and their likelihood;
  • identify vulnerable areas where risk treatment needs to be proactively developed;
  • understand the key business imperatives of the Company; and
  • implement business continuity management across all critical business processes of the company in accordance with recognised best practice.

To secure our commitment to training and knowledge development in the areas of business continuity management, we aim to:

  • ensure that appropriate people understand the need for business continuity, what the plans are, and how to use them; and to,
  • ensure that stakeholders have access to appropriate information, theoretical and practical training opportunities in the area of business continuity management.

To secure our commitment to monitoring performance and reviewing progress of business continuity management, we aim to:

  • ensure that an acceptable level of performance is maintained as the Company and its environment change over time;
  • formally update plans regularly, based on an approach, deployment, results, and improvement cycle;
  • monitor for changes to environmental, strategic, resource, and stakeholder conditions which will trigger a review and update of the plans; and to,
  • undertake assurance activities to provide verification and validation that business continuity management activities and the documented plans are appropriate to the needs of the Company.

The objectives of business continuity management are to:

  • minimise the impact of disruptions to services upon the Company community through effective planning and the efficient restoration of services following an incident;
  • ensure the Company meets its statutory and regulatory responsibilities and that it adheres to accepted best practice.

PROCEDURE:

  1. The Business Continuity Management Policy of Home Caring Group is established to:
    1. ensure implementation of a business management process for ensuring the continuity of critical business functions (Business Continuity Planning);
    2. ensure an organised and effective approach to isolated events that could seriously impact critical business processes (Disaster Recovery Planning); and to,
    3. efficiently and effectively manage events that may impact the Company’s reputation (Emergency/Crisis Management Planning).
  2. Executive Management team will adopt the principles of the Approach, Deployment, Results, and Improvement (ADRI) cycle to establish and continually improve the business continuity management framework.
  3. The Operations Manager and/or Managing Director (MD) sets capital, tools and techniques to ensure that business continuity management is a fully embedded business management process.
    1. All staff, particularly middle managers with advisory and decision-making responsibilities, will be provided with opportunities to obtain a sound understanding of business continuity management and the requisite skills to implement business continuity effectively.
    2. The Executive management team will implement proactive plans will be adopted to ensure that critical business processes can recover and continue should a serious incident occur.
    3. Managers must implement business continuity management according to the business continuity management framework, relevant legislative requirements, and appropriate business continuity management standards.
    4. The Operations Manager /MD will regularly monitor and review the progress made in developing an appropriate culture of business continuity management and the performance of business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management strategies throughout the organisation as a basis for continuous improvement.

Clearly Assigned Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Roles and responsibilities for business continuity management will be clearly defined and understood by senior management and other stakeholders. Key roles include:
    1. Senior Leadership – Operations Manager and/or MD is designated corporate management liaison and responsible for implementation, oversight, resolutions and review of Business continuity plans and associated activities.
    2. Brand management team –   will facilitate the introduction and monitoring of business continuity management into their designated key areas in the company.
    3. Managers and Leaders will act as Stewards are accountable for the company’s key business processes and, assisted by Principal Activity Stewards, will ensure the development of business continuity plans for all associated business functions.
    4. The Operations Manager and/or MD is responsible for crisis management and for overseeing the functions of the Company’s public relations activities, including crisis management response, communication and for the provision of advice and assistance to the business continuity management framework. The primary role is to protect the Company’s reputation, brand, and coordinate responses to media and key external stakeholders.
    5. The Operations Manager/ MD, is responsible for maintaining plans to respond to emergencies affecting the company and for the provision of advice and assistance to the business continuity management framework.
    6. Managers are delegated responsibility for the development of disaster recovery plans for the resources identified by Executive Management team as being vital to critical business processes.
    7. Establishment of steering Committees as required
  2. The following aspects are considered key elements in the Business continuity plan:
    1. Formal risk assessment – Risks which could give rise to disruptions to critical services will be formally identified and assessed.
    2. Integration – Business continuity management arrangements will be consistent with and integrated to quality and risk management arrangements.
    3. Knowledge management – Appropriate training will be provided for associated staff, and regular exercises undertaken to validate and improve business continuity management plans.
    4. New Systems – Business continuity management considerations will be considered in the planning stages for all new business processes and systems.
  3. The business continuity management plans will be sensitive documents as they will be the key to all implemented security measures and contain private information.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

  1. In situations where a Company department does not comply with the policy, the Executive management team will prepare a brief stating the case for non-compliance and present it to the Board corporate management liaison for resolution.
    1. Failure to comply with policies within the allotted time for resolution may result in verbal reprimands, notes in personnel files, termination and other remedies as deemed appropriate.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017
  • Prudential Standard SPS232 Business Continuity management
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Central management policy
  • Risk management policy
  • Incident management policy
  • Risk assessment & Controls policy
  • Work Health and Safety policy
  • Continuous Quality Improvement policy

CLIENT NOT AT HOME/NO RESPONSE TO SCHEDULED VISIT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group recognises of the vulnerability of client’s receiving community care services, procedures are established to ensure a client’s safety is not neglected.  Whilst a client’s autonomy is to be respected always there can be many reasons why a scheduled visit is missed including:

  • The carer / care recipient may have inadvertently forgotten to inform the Coordinator or Manager that he/she should not be at home; and/or
  • The care recipient may have fallen, been injured or taken ill and still be in the home.

PROCEDURE:

  1. No response to scheduled visit is established at Initial assessment by Manager/case manager. This is a ‘planned response’ which is considered an individualised approach in place for when a care recipient does not respond to a scheduled visit and is based on each client’s individual circumstance and preferences.
  2. All Case Managers must be made aware of their client’s response plan and documented in the client management database.
    1. The Case Manager shall have a clear understanding of who will be responsible for the various steps outlined in the individually agreed process.
    2. Individualised plans would be progressively documented at service reviews or re-assessment to ensure they always remain current.
    3. Where a client has requested that they do not want a planned response, if a Case manager has concerns or there is an indication that there may be something wrong, the Case Manager should raise their concerns with the Manager and have their concerns documented.
    4. Where no prior notification of absence has been recorded, it is assumed that the client is at home but not responding and the Care worker will implement the following steps:
      1. knock loudly on the door a second and even a third time;
      2. call out the person’s name;
  • if safe to do so, repeat the above at the back door;
  1. look in and knock on relevant windows;
  2. look for signs that indicate anything out of the ordinary such as all blinds are drawn;
  3. if safe to do so, approach the neighbours to enquire if they have seen the client;
  • phone the Coordinator or After-Hours Coordinator for further direction;
  • phone the Manager if you are unable to contact the Coordinator
  1. Coordinators attempt to contact client / person responsible / emergency contacts
    1. If attempts are unsuccessful, the staff member is advised to wait for thirty (30) minutes for the client to return.
    2. If after 30 minutes there is no sign of the client and the staff member has assessed no risks around the property, the staff member is to leave the service.
  2. Upon confirmation that a client is absent at the time of a scheduled visit, it is the responsibility of the Coordinator to implement the planned response for that individual as previously agreed by the head contractor / brokerage partner
    1. The Manager shall review the care plan and follow the ‘planned response’ instructions for the situation of a client not responding.

Brokerage Service

  1. Where this relates to a brokerage service:
    1. Coordinators will advise the service of the situation and wait for direction from the Coordinator of the brokerage service.
    2. Coordinator is to make contact is made with the staff member and advise if they are to wait or to leave the service

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Aged Care Act 1997
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Documentation and Record Keeping policy
  • Incident management policy
  • Person Centred Care policy
  • Safeguarding people with disabilities policy

CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group recognises that conflicts of interest commonly arise and do not need to present a problem if effectively managed.  Home Caring Group as well as a responsibility of the board, the ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest be avoided and that any such conflicts (where they do arise) do not conflict with the obligations to Home Caring Group.

Conflict of Interest arises where an Employee, Director or Board Member is placed in a position in which he or she has the ability or capacity to influence the carrying out of Home Caring Group’s business or decision making according to their own private interests and/or personal circumstances.

PROCEDURE:

Defining Conflict of interest

  1. Employees may occasionally encounter situations giving rise to conflicts of interest when participating in Home Caring Group’s decision-making processes, as other professional or personal roles intersects. Potential areas where a conflict of interest may arise include but not limited to:
  2. Personal and family relationships
  3. Financial interests and affiliations
  4. Receipts of gifts
  5. Acceptance of outside professional work or secondary employment
  6. Use of Home Caring Groups information
  7. Clients may be the subject of conflict of interest, where Home Caring Group is providing Support Coordination and also providing direct care supports.
  8. Home Caring Group will manage conflicts of interest by requiring all employees (including board members) to:
    1. Avoid conflicts of interest where possible
    2. Identify and disclose any conflicts of interest
    3. Carefully manage and conflicts of interest, and
    4. Follow this policy and respond to any breaches

Responsibility of the Executive Management team

  1. The Executive managers are responsible for:
    1. Establishing a system for identifying, disclosing and managing conflicts of interest
    2. Monitoring compliance with this policy, and
    3. Reviewing this policy on an annual basis, [following the annual general meeting], to ensure that the policy is operating effectively
    4. Ensure all staff complete a Conflict of Interest register which will be monitored by the Board.
  2. All staff are orientated to Home Caring Groups Code of Ethics upon commencement of employment. The Code of Ethics clearly define where conflicts of interest can arise. Staff are instructed to, but not limited to:
    1. Not accept remuneration, money or gifts directly from the client
    2. Never to go through a client’s personal possessions.
    3. Never use the client’s bankbook/keycard
    4. Never remove any items from the client’s home
    5. Not use the clients telephone for personal reasons
    6. Not witness a client will or any other legal document
    7. Never promote your own interest, goods and services to the client that you may provide outside of your role with Home Caring Group.
  1. A conflict of interest arises where a staff member, participates in, or has the ability to influence, decisions affecting another person with whom the employee has a family or personal relationship. Conflicts of interest in relation to personal and family relationships arise, for example where an employee:
    1. Participates in decisions relating to the care and assessment of a client who they are related to
    2. Participates in decisions relating to the appointment, promotion or discipline of a staff member who is a relative
    3. Acts as an advocate for a client to promote, protect and defend the welfare or and justice for client

Identification and disclosure of conflicts of interest

  1. Whilst Home Caring Group encourages its staff to become involved in community activities, however it is possible that this may give rise to a potential conflict of interest. As a result, it is expected that staff declare their involvement with external activities relating to Home Caring Group team at the time of their employment and discuss how any potential conflicts of interest may be managed.
  2. Once an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest is identified, it must be entered into register of interests, as well as being raised with the board. Where all of the other board members share a conflict, the board should refer to governance standard 5 to ensure that proper disclosure occurs.
    1. The register of interests must be maintained by Executive Managerand record information related to a conflict of interest (including the nature and extent of the conflict of interest and any steps taken to address it).
    2. Due to the potentially sensitive nature of disclosures, only Operations Manager and/or MD will have access to the information disclosed.

Action required for management of conflicts of interest

  1. Conflicts of interest of board members. Once the conflict of interest has been appropriately disclosed, the board (excluding the board member disclosing and any other conflicted board member) must decide if those conflicted board members should:
    1. vote on the matter (this is a minimum),
    2. participate in any debate, or
    3. be present in the room during the debate and the voting.
  1. Conflicts of interest of clients. If Home Caring Group is managing both Support Coordination and direct care supports, the following will be in place to protect the client from a perceived conflict of interest:
    1. Home Caring Group will document the reason why the client chooses to utilise both service provisions.
    2. Home Caring Group will document options that they provided to the client, and client to sign off on their agreeance of choice of service.
    3. Case Managers will not receive incentives to coerce clients to utilise direct service provision from Home Caring Group.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, such as where a conflict is very significant or likely to prevent a board member from regularly participating in discussions, it may be worth the board considering whether it is appropriate for the person conflicted to resign from the board.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • ACNC Governance standards
  • Corporations Act 2001
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Code of Ethics policy
  • Board policy & Management policy
  • Governance policy

CULTURE & DIVERSITY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

At Home Caring Group all aspects of culture and diversity are valued and embraced as an underlying principle of the business. We believe that culture and diversity (multiculturalism), is based on the idea that everyone’s cultural identity should not be discarded or ignored, rather maintained and valued. The foundation principle of this belief is that every culture and race has made a substantial contribution to Australian Society over many generations. This principle is used in the context of building harmony when providing services to care recipients and understanding the balance between that which is a home for the care recipient, is also a workplace for the employee. At Home Caring Groupthere is an expectation for Directors, Managers, Employees and Contractors to adopt and foster a mindset that acknowledges, accepts, values, and even celebrates the various ways that people live and interact. This principle applies to acknowledging and understanding that, within our various cultural differences, we all aspire to many of the same things including security, well-being, acceptance, individualism, esteem, and some form of equity, whether it is physical, spiritual or emotional.

PROCEDURE:

  1. All Brands support and enable clients and their families to contribute to the continuous improvement system, provide feedback on planning objectives and accessing complaints mechanism in their preferred languages or mode of communication such as the annual client and staff satisfaction survey.
  2. All Brands actively promote the use of professional interpreter services and the use of bilingual staff in line with client requirements and recruit bilingual staff
  3. All Brands provide information in a variety of languages and formats, as requested
  4. All staff undergo cultural competency training to enhance capacity to work with people from different backgrounds.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Sex discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Workplace Gender Quality Act 2012 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Anti-discrimination policy
  • Effective workplace environment policy
  • Human Resources management policy
  • Human Rights policy

EFFECTIVE WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home CaringGroup believes that an effective working environment is crucial to the success of the organisation. The significance of establishing and maintaining an effective working environment is central to all systems and processes. The foundation upon which to establish and manage various elements is critical to ensuring an effective working environment that can be consistently applied and built upon progressively.

PROCEDURE:

  1. All employees will work towards achieving identified organisational outcomes
  2. All staff will apply organisational WH&S and risk management practices;
  3. The Executive management team will conduct the following:
    1. develop and implement business plans to ensure desired outcomes are achieved;
    2. set objectives and agreed time frames are met;
    3. comply with relevant legislation, guidelines and procedures are managed;
    4. Exercise Duty of care responsibilities and ensure are understood and met;
    5. Sound organisational ethics are practiced;
    6. Incorporate relevant legislation and awards into workplace practices and decisions;
    7. Provide unpaid workers and others with appropriate training, briefing and supervision;
    8. Where problems arise in meeting business plans, take appropriate action to re-negotiate or seek assistance
  4. All employees will establish and maintain appropriate work relationships and,
    1. Use effective and transparent communication and interpersonal styles to ensure all workplace interactions contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives;
    2. Demonstrate and apply consideration of the full range of individual and cultural differences in workplace relations;
    3. Effectively deal with any issues related to the well-being of consumers and work colleagues promptly and in accordance with the organisation’s procedures;
    4. Handling potential and actual conflicts in the workplace to minimise disruption.
  5. All Managers will facilitate operations of their teams by:
    1. Actively participate in all team processes to ensure team objectives are met;
    2. Ensure individual responsibilities within the team are achieved to identified standards and time frames;
    3. Appropriately inform individuals for whom you are responsible of workplace performance standards;
    4. Develop and use range of own skills and knowledge as required to enhance team performance;
    5. Apply appropriate effort to maximise effective communication and to ensure resolution of issues within the team.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 NSW
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • WHS & General safety policy
  • Leadership & Accountability policy

EMERGENCY FIRST AID POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group recognises that First Aid is the immediate, initial emergency care and attention given to a person suffering an injury or illness before medical assistance arrives ie. ambulance, doctor or nurse.   The aims of first aid is to:

  • Preserve life and protect the unconscious
  • Prevent the condition worsening and promote recovery
  • Stabilise the persons condition and seek appropriate medical assistance

PROCEDURE:

  1. While on duty all staff have duty of care to themselves and others to provide first aid assistance to the level of their competence, and to call on expert assistance if necessary.
    1. Staff are required to have a current First Aid Certificate and update it before it expires.
    2. Seek appropriate medical assistance.
    3. Administer first aid until medical assistance arrives.
    4. If it is a critical emergency call 000 and ask for Ambulance Service
    5. Contact Service Staff immediately or when appropriate and complete an Accident/Incident/Hazard Report.
  2. In the workplace ie. sites, the Manager undertakes the following to tasks at their sites:
    1. Ensure that there is one first aider for every 50 workers (as a rule of thumb for low risk workplaces- Safe work Australia)
    2. Clear signage indicating location of first aid box, first aid officers and emergency details
    3. Record any first aid treatment given

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Regulation 2016
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019

Related policies

  • Maintaining a safe living environment policy
  • Service user Incident management policy

MERGENCY PREPAREDNESS POLICEY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring shall ensure that emergency preparedness and response plans are developed in accordance with identified operational risks and legislative requirements. All potential emergencies shall be considered and risk assessed as part of the emergency preparedness process.

Emergency situation scan cause significant damage to property,injury to people and disruption to business. Emergencies can be specific too nesite or affecta larger area/population.While preventing an emergency issome times impossibleitis always possible to decrease their negative impact through thorough planning and resourcing.

Emergency plans shall be:

  • Used as the primary means for coordinating emergency management and response;
  • Documented, current, accessible and legible to all persons who need to use them;
  • Prepared in consultation with local authorities, emergency services and stakeholders;
  • Provided to emergency services for implementation in the event of an emergency;
  • Reviewed as necessary and revised in relation to all aspects of risk management and control.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Emergency evacuations may occur in any of the following, but not limited to circumstances:
    1. Fire
    2. Gas Leaks (flammable and toxic)
    3. Electrical
    4. Explosions
    5. Vapour emission
    6. Bomb threat
    7. Natural disaster
    8. Structural collapse of building

Care workers emergency preparednessa

  1. MANAGERS must ensure all staff have a fully functioning mobile phone with them when working in the community.
  2. Staff are rostered in the client management systems ensuring that all staff can be located in an emergency
  3. MANAGERS must ensure accurate and up to date staff records so an accurate paper and electronic copy is available of contact details, next of kin contact details and any relevant information on support needs;
  4. That staff notify their Manager if the media announce an alert regarding a possible natural disaster or adverse weather conditions (e.g. heavy rain over a few hours); and vice versa.
  5. All workers have access to:
    1. emergency numbers
    2. training regarding evacuations and emergencies
    3. document an incidents and actions on the next available day
  6. Emergency situations are to be considered when completing the Client Home WHS Risk Assessment and communicated to the care worker prior to commencing service.
  7. Service will not be conducted in any home that does not have a smoke alarm. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure a working smoke alarm in the home prior to service commencing.
  8. MANAGERS must ensure accurate and up to date client records that identify:
    1. Emergency contact details
    2. Consumer mobility or transport for persons who need to be mobilised for evacuation and
    3. Any other support need considerations such as, but not limited to Fire Emergency Plans is available in client file

Site emergency preparedness

  1. Security of Home Caring Group electronic records (onsite and a backup stored off-site);
  2. The ability for remote access of electronic files in the event of workers having to work from home or from alternative worksites;
  3. Multi-skilling and sharing of staff skills and knowledge so business can continue in the absence of some staff;
  4. Emergency equipment isregularly inspected/tested and those checks recorded in a register which shall include records of maintenance, inspections, test and calibration to ensure serviceability.
  5. Emergency signage such as emergency plans, first aid and evacuation information clearly visible at all site offices
    1. Staff must follow exit routes and alert others as they go
    2. Meet at designated assembly area
    3. Account for all staff
    4. Document incident and actions at the next available day
  6. Sign in and Sign off registers at all office so that all staff who conduct home visits can be easily located in the event of an emergency
  7. Mock emergency exercises conducted periodically to test and improve systems and processes
  8. The MANAGER consults with the Strata Manager to ensure that adequate firefighting and detection equipment is installed and services.

Training

  1. All Workers will receive training in emergency procedures at induction.
  2. Building wardens will be trained annually. Annual emergency evacuation drills will be carried out in cooperation with the Strata Manager.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000

Related policies

  • Business continuity policy
  • Governance and Central management policy
  • Leadership & Accountability
  • Risk management policy
  • Adverse Events management
  • Environmental & Disaster management policy
  • WHS & General Safety policy
  • Risk assessment and controls policy
  • Security of Information policy

GOVERNANCE AND CENTRAL MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group maintains a philosophy for all elements of central management which focuses on best practice processes in all aspects of the business. Home Caring Group seeks to ensure that quality services are maintained through the commitment and continuous improvement cycles by all stakeholders and service users

PROCEDURE:

  1. The structure of Home Caring Group includes Corporate Services and different Business Units.
  2. Corporate services include functions of, but not limited to:
    1. Group Human Resources management
    2. Group Finance and Accounts management
    3. Group Quality, Risk and Compliance
    4. Business development strategy
  3. The business unit functions include, but not limited to:
    1. Local service operation and care delivery
    2. Local recruitment and induction of staff
    3. Local compliments and complaints handling
  4. Business units:
    1. adopt policy and support the increasing importance of information technology in managing, operating and delivering the organisation’s various services;
    2. adopt of policy and processes to purchase goods and services in a manner that is ethical and adheres to the guidelines and mission statement;
    3. takes a positive approach to complaints and comments as it works to continually review and improve the range of services it provides;
    4. adopt the maintenance of policy that reflects the guidelines and acknowledges the Australian Privacy Principles for the protection of personal information pertaining to consumers, employees and external service providers
    5. adopt the maintenance of clinical governance framework and various continuous improvement plans
    6. implement policy and procedures that reflect current government legislation and standards

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Prudential Standard SPS232 Business Continuity management
  • Corporations Act 2001
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019

Related policies

  • Effective workplace environment policy
  • Governance policy
  • Leadership & Accountability policy

INFECTION CONTROL – UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Australia is committed to access and equity principles. Home Caring takes the view that access and equity is about removing the barriers to access and establishing methods of support to enable participation and opening opportunities for all; with the specific purpose being to eliminate all forms of discrimination and inequity in the provision of goods and services in the organisation. Specifically, Home Caring will seek to ensure appropriate standards are established and maintained in relation to:

PROCEDURE:

  1. The principles of Universal Precautions include using PROTECTIVE BARRIERS and PRACTICES to prevent contact with parental (blood to blood contact), mucosa and non-intact skin exposure to all other body substances regardless of the Client disease status.
  2. All body fluid substances are to be considered infectious as they can carry blood-borne pathogens. These include:
    1. Urine
    2. Blood
    3. Saliva
    4. Faeces
    5. Sweat
    6. Sputum
  3. For contact of body substances with the Client Staff MUST ALWAYS employ the use of PROTECTIVE BARRIERS. These include:
    1. Gloves
    2. Aprons
    3. Masks
  4. Staff MUST also:
    1. Properly cover any open wounds they may have
    2. Pay attention to washing their hands efficiently
  5. Support WorkersMUST ALWAYS employ the PRACTICES below:
    1. Safe disposal of contaminated waste, body substances and soiled linen (gloves must be worn when handling soiled clothing and linen)
    2. Soiled linen and clothing MUST be washed separately from other dirty linen and clothing.
    3. Carrying a pair of gloves in their clothing pocket always whilst on duty
    4. Informing the Rostering Team if you are contagious.

Spills – Bodily Substances

  1. To prevent the spread of possible pathogen in the workplace Staff will:
    1. Wear disposable gloves when dealing with all spills.
    2. Ensure the client is attended to as a priority and that they are clean and
    3. Wipe up the spill with absorbent paper and place the contaminated paper towel into a sealed plastic bag.
    4. Discard the bag containing the contaminants into the client’s large outdoor (OTTO/ SULO) garbage bin immediately.
    5. Clean the affected area with appropriate cleaning products and suitable equipment i.e. mop.
    6. Dispose of gloves into a sealed bag and into the outdoor bin (as above) andwash your hands with soap and warm water.

Exposure to Bodily Substances

  1. To prevent the spread of possible pathogens when exposed to contaminated linen and clothing Staff will:
    1. Immediately apply FIRST AID if they have been exposed to contaminated linenor clothing.
    2. Follow the below procedures if the affected area includes:
      1. Eyes: rinse affected eye(s) with a large amount of tap water (warm water).
      2. Skin: wash the affected area well with soap and warm water.
  • Mouth: spit the substance out and rinse your mouth out with water several times (do not swallow).
  1. Needlestick or Razor Injury (blood exposure): Make the needlestick bleed. Seek medical advice immediately to determine potential risk of transmission of blood borne pathogens.
  2. Wear gloves when handling contaminated linen.
  3. For items contaminated with faeces first dispose of the bulk into the toilet and flush and clean toilet if necessary.
  • Rinse items (clothing, linen) in laundry sink and soak in bucket if necessary or transfer straight to the washing machine. Do not wash any other item with the contaminated item. Hot wash is preferable when dealing with contaminated linen or clothing.
  • Dispose of the gloves and wash hands with soap and warm water.
  1. Refer to the Accident / Incident / Hazard Policy. Report incident immediately to the Case Manager or After-Hours Operator. Where necessary staff shift will be replaced as soon as possible.
  2. Where medical advice has been sought staff must present relevant documentation to the Case Manager immediately.

Managing Sharps

  1. To prevent needle stick injuries and transmission of blood borne pathogens staff are instructed to:
    1. Wash hands before and after dealing with sharps.
    2. Wear gloves.
    3. Do not pass sharps from one worker to another person.
    4. Needles are not to be re-sheathed.
    5. Dispose all sharps into the sharps containers only. Do not use sharps container to dispose of any other item. The sharps container is to be kept out of reach of children and relevant clients.
    6. Containers are to be ¾ filled only. Inform Case Manager to arrange for the collection of full containers if applicable.
    7. Where necessary document appropriately.

Handwashing Procedure

  1. For the protection of all staff, clients and others whilst at work staff are advised to effectively wash hands with soap and warm water in the following situations:
    1. Upon arrival and before commencing work
    2. When you change gloves
    3. After toileting (yourself or client)
    4. Before leaving a dirty area and entering into a clean area e.g. leaving the bathroom and entering the kitchen
    5. Prior to taking or preparing meals (including tea breaks)
    6. After smoking
    7. At the end of your shift prior to leaving
    8. Please notify the Case Manager if you are prevented from following the procedures as outlined e.g. an inadequate supply of soap

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. To provide staff and clients with a barrier to protect both parties from cross contamination.
  2. Staff must use gloves when:
    1. In direct contact with bodily substances
    2. Performing invasive procedures as in clinical procedures completed only by Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses or by care staff deemed competent by Registered Nurse.
    3. Giving PEG feeds
    4. Changing or emptying catheter bags
    5. Administering an injection (this duty is only performed by Registered Nurses)
  3. Staff must discard gloves when:
    1. Torn or damaged in any way slight or large
    2. After contact with the client
    3. When performing separate procedures on the same client e.g. procedures on different body part.
  4. Gloves may not be re-used; they are for single use only.
  5. Staff must dispose of your gloves in a sealed bag and place them into the outside bin (Follow up by washing your hands appropriately).

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth)
  • Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW)
  • Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW)
  • Workers Compensation Regulation 2010 (NSW)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018 (Cth)

Related policies

  • WHS & Generail Safety
  • Professional learning & development policy
  • Risk assessment & controls policy
  • Human Resources Management policy

LEADERSHIP & ACCOUNTABILITY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group Board of Directors, Operations Manager, Managers and Client Service Leaders shall exhibit their commitment to leadership by demonstrating due diligence through proactive leadership and sound management practices.All Home Caring Group Managers and Leaders are challenged to effectively manage and efficiently coordinate activities and people with a specific focus on eliminating or minimising disruption and distractions within their area of influence.

Home Caring fosters an ethos where Managers and Leaders are empowered and expected to drive efficiency and promote accountability through all layers of the business. Accountability shall be defined, documented and communicated through:

  • Defined roles, responsibilities and accountabilities;
  • Taking a person-centred approach to all stakeholders in the provision of care;
  • Organisational structures and lines of reporting and quality systems compliance

PROCEDURE:

  1. Home Caring Group ensures leadership and accountability by ensuring all managers attend:
    1. Regularly scheduled management meetings
    2. Annual management retreats
    3. Weekly ‘huddle’ sessions
    4. And any other
  2. All staff are responsible for setting an example and ensuring that their work is accountable and self-leadership demonstrated.
  3. Organisational structure shall be reflected in delegations where key personnel are unavailable.
    1. In the case of planned absences; key personnel are responsible for delegating tasks to the appropriate person. Eg. Managing Director absence will require Operations Manager to act on tasks required of them in the period of absence.
    2. In the case of unplanned absences; responsibilities will be delegated depending on time frames. Eg. If absent for more than 5 business days, the delegated personnel may require access to emails to action tasks required.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW)
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019 (Cth)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2019 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Effective workplace environment policy
  • Governance policy

NATIONAL POLICE CHECK & WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK POLICY

and home-care work in Australia.  In line with contractual obligations to government, clients and customers, Home Caring Group ensures that all employees obtain both a National Police Check and a paid WWCC before engagement, which must be renewed before expiry. This enables Home Caring Group to provide assurances to our clients that employees do not have any relevant criminal convictions or record of professional misconduct.

The WWCC and National Police Check are two different checks,

  • The Police Check is current only on the day of issue and is simply a list of the offences from a person’s criminal history that can be disclosed. It does not involve an assessment of risk or suitability by a government agency.
  • The Working with Children Check is an ongoing assessment of a person’s suitability to work or volunteer with children and involves a check of a person’s national criminal history (including all spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges) and a review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a Working with Children Check is either a clearance or a bar.

PROCEDURE:

National Police Check

  1. All prospective employees may be able to claim the cost of the police and working with children certificates as a work-related expense for tax purposes, but should seek independent advice.
  2. A police certificate discloses whether a person:
    1. has been convicted of an offence;
    2. has been charged with and found guilty of an offence but discharged without conviction; or
    3. is the subject of any criminal charge still pending before a Court.
  3. All new and existing employees will be required to undergo a National Police Check before commencement of employment and must be renewed every three (3) years. These records are kept by the Manager who must be satisfied that a certificate is genuine and has been prepared by an Australian Police service or an ACIC accredited organisation.
  4. Police certificates may have different formats, including printed certificates or electronic reports. Every police certificate or report must record:
    1. the person’s full name and date of birth;
    2. the date of issue;
    3. a reference number or similar.
  5. Police certificates for all staff and volunteers must remain current and need to be renewed every three years, before they expire. If a police certificate expires while a staff member is on leave, the new certificate must be obtained before the staff member can resume working at the service.
  6. In exceptional circumstances, the MANAGER may decide that a staff or volunteer may commence work prior to obtaining a police certificate and pending an assessment of any criminal conviction identified in the certificate if:
    1. the care or other service to be provided by the person is essential; and
    2. an application for a police certificate has been made before the date on which the person first becomes a staff member or volunteer; and
    3. until the police certificate is obtained, the person will be subject to appropriate supervision during periods when the person has access to care recipients; and
    4. the person makes a statutory declaration stating that they have never been:
      1. convicted of murder or sexual assault; or
      2. convicted of, and sentenced to imprisonment for, any other form of assault.
    5. Where this decision is made, the MANAGER must notify Operations Manager and/or Managing Director prior to the staff member commencing employment and in writing that:
      1. that an application for a police certificate has been made;
      2. the care and other service to be provided is essential;
      3. the way in which the person would be appropriately supervised;
      4. how supervision will occur in a range of working conditions, e.g. during night shifts and holiday periods when supervisory staff numbers may be limited.

National Police check – a criminal record is indicated

  1. The offences that preclude a person from working in aged care are:
    1. a conviction for murder or sexual assault; or
    2. a conviction of, and sentence to imprisonment for, any other form of assault.
  2. Any person with a conviction for a precluding offence will not be employed, contracted, hired, retained, or accepted as an unsupervised volunteer in an any service subsidised by the Commonwealth Government.
  3. Staff must notify their line manager if they are convicted of a precluding offence in the three-year period between obtaining and renewing their police check, and they will not be allowed to continue as a staff member or volunteer.

Working with Children Check

  1. The Working with Children Check prevents people who is a potential risk to the safety, welfare and well-being of children from being employed or engaged in child-related work, whether in a paid or volunteer capacity and applies to all roles within the Home Caring Group.
  2. All new and existing employees will be required to undergo a paid Working with Children’s Check before commencement of employment and must be renewed on expiry. These records are monitored by Managers.
    1. A paid Working with Children Check is valid for both paid and volunteer work
    2. A volunteer Working with Children Check is for unpaid child-related work only.
    3. Cleared applicants are given a unique WWC number and which must be verified online or by mail depending on state/ territory
  3. The MANAGERS must provide the necessary information and assistance to staff members, volunteers, students, contractors and volunteers for them to be able to obtain or renew their WWCC registration and:
    1. conduct an online verification of WWCC via the Office of the Children’s Guardian
    2. ensure that all paid staff members, volunteers, students, contractors have applied, and paid for the check/registration prior to commencing employment and/or volunteer placement
    3. Keep a WWCC register which includes the following details:
      1. Employee name
      2. Employee WWCC number
  • The date on which the check was verified
  1. The date of WWCC expiry
  1. log relevant WWCC information of staff members, volunteers, students and contractors into the Client Management system/database
  2. include any concerns in relation to the applicant’s interactions with children, where possible, when conducting reference checks
  1. A worker with an existing WWC clearance that is due to expire must reapply for a new WWCC and provide the new number to Manager who will:
    1. verify the new WWC application or clearance online within five working days of the expiry date of the old WWC clearance number

Working with Children check –barred worker and preclusions.

  1. If any new relevant record appears that leads to the worker becoming barred, the Office of the Children’s Guardian will notify the Manager who has verified the worker’s WWC number online.
    1. Any employee who is barred will automatically be terminated from employment.
  2. People convicted and imprisoned for murder, the indecent or sexual assault of a child, child pornography or incest with a child victim will never be able to appeal to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or other relevant body in other states/ territories to overturn a ban on them working with children.
  3. Persons subject to a control order, for example good behaviour bond or home detention, can not appeal to NCAT or relevant body against a refusal decision for the duration of the order,

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Child and Young Persons Protection (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013
  • Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2015
  • Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993
  • Ombudsman Act 1974
  • Aged Care Act 2017
  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Department of Health Police Certificate Guidelines March 2017
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Documentation & Record Keeping policy
  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Protecting Children and Young people
  • Protecting Older persons policy
  • Safeguarding people with disabilities policy
  • Security of Information policy

MANDATORY NOTIFIABLE DATA BREACH POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to protecting the privacy of all client and employee information and strengthening protections to personal information and providing affected individuals with an opportunity to take steps to protect their personal information following a data breach.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Defining a ‘data breach’ as outlined by Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017
    1. A data breach is considered “unauthorised access to or unauthorised disclosure of personal information, or a loss of personal information” (s26WE (2)) and described as:
      1. Unauthorised access of personal information occurs when personal information that an entity holds is accessed by someone who is not permitted to have access. This includes unauthorised access by an employee of the entity, or an independent contractor, as well as unauthorised access by an external third party (such as by hacking).
      2. Unauthorised disclosure occurs when an entity makes personal information accessible or visible to others outside the entity, and releases that information from its effective control in a way that is not permitted by the Privacy Act. This includes an unauthorised disclosure by an employee of the entity.
  • Loss refers to the accidental or inadvertent loss of personal information held by an entity, in circumstances where is it is likely to result in unauthorised access or disclosure. An example is where an employee of an entity leaves personal information (including hard copy documents, unsecured computer equipment, or portable storage devices containing personal information) on public transport.
  1. Some kinds of personal information are more likely to cause an individual serious harm is compromised, such as but not limited to: documents commonly used for identity fraud (including driver license, Medicare card etc), sensitive information regarding a person’s health issues.
  1. Determining a data breach and threshold of ‘serious harm’
    1. The Manager will determine if a data breach has occurred and if it is likely to cause serious harm to the individual by evaluating the context of the data breach. Serious harm can be in the forms of psychological, emotional, physical, reputational or other forms of harm.
    2. The Manager will consider the following factors:
      1. Whose personal information was involved in the breach and how many individuals were involved?
      2. What type of personal information was involved in data breach?
  • Is this likely to result in serious harm to one or more individuals?
  1. What are the circumstances of the data breach – who has it, how long, what will they do with it?
  2. What is the nature of the harm that may result from the data breach such as, but not limited to: identity theft, significant financial loss by the individual, threats to an individual’s physical safety.
  3. Is the personal information adequately encrypted, anonymised, or otherwise not easily accessible?
  • Has there been an unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of personal information, or a loss of personal information?
  • Has the entity not been able to prevent the likely risk of serious harm with remedial action?
  1. Assessing the suspected data breach
    1. If any staff member suspects or there is reasonable ground to believe there has been a data breach, the Manager will conduct a ‘reasonable’ and ‘expeditious’ investigation within 2 working days by:
      1. Quickly gathering information about the suspected breach
      2. Evaluate and decide based on investigation about whether a reasonable data breach has taken place.
  1. Notifying a breach
    1. Where the Manager has completed the investigation, and determined that a serious harm has occurred, the following steps occur:
      1. The Manager notifies the individual/ individuals who personal information is involved in the data breach
      2. The Manager notifies the individual/individuals that are likely at risk of serious harm because of the data breach
  • The Operations Manager notifies Australian Office of Information Commissioner (AOIC) in writing, using the AOIC template, that includes the following details:
    1. Identity and contact details of agency
    2. Description of eligible data breach
    3. The kinds of information involved in data breach
    4. Steps that agency recommends that individuals take in response to eligible data breach
  1. Exceptions to the notification requirements
    1. If a person’s information is held by 2 parties, the Manager will need to decide who will conduct the reporting and document this decision in the persons file.
  1. Obligations of all Contractors
    1. Home Caring Group ensures all Corporate partners who handle client and/or employee information adheres to the same legislative and regulatory compliance using contracts.
    2. Home Caring Group monitors compliance through legally managed contracts.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017
  • NSW Disability Services Act 1993
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998
  • Privacy Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)
  • Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) 2012
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Accident, Incident, Hazard Response reporting and Investigation policy
  • Compliments & Complaints management handling policy
  • Documentation & Record Keeping policy
  • Liaison with other service providers policy
  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Security of Information policy

PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to protecting the privacy of clients’ information. Home Caring Group will ensure that all documentation and record keeping systems follow principles of best practice and adhere to Australian Privacy Principles. Home Caring Group will only collect information that is necessary for the provision of services to each service user and will keep records in a standardised, accurate, objective and efficient manner. All client and staff related information will be kept in accordance with legal requirements, ensuring that privacy and confidentiality of personal information is maintained always. Home Caring Group will make information kept about a client is available for that individual or their substitute decision makers to access at any time.

PROCEDURE:

  1. All information regarding complaints will be kept confidential amongst the staff concerned with its resolution.
    1. Complaint documentation will be kept in a safe, locked place and accessible only to staff handling the complaint.
    2. Managers must forward Compliment and complaint information to the management team as part of ongoing improvement activities within the service.
    3. Statistics on all types of compliments and complaints will be recorded and used to inform ongoing improvement activities within the service. For this purpose, compliment and complaint information may be disseminated to management and other staff. However, the identity of the complainant or persons named in the feedback will not be disclosed.

Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 1 – Open and Transparent Management of Personal Information

  1. Personal information will only be used a disclosed for the primary purpose it was collected. It may be disclosed in many circumstances, including, but not limited to:
    1. Third parties where consent has been made for use or disclosure
    2. Where required and authorised by law.
  2. The client’s or staff member’s consent will be obtained before personal information is given to a third party, except when other legal obligations take precedence. It is important to note that:
    1. Specific written consent must be obtained from each client before any information is released or sought from other sources.
    2. Clients and staff must be accurately informed about who will have access to specific information and the purpose for which it is being sourced or released
    3. Clients and staff have access to their own files and assisted in interpreting reports and other documentation they may contain.
    4. Staff must ensure there is no intrusion into areas of clients or customers lives which are not relevant to the services requested.
    5. Specific guidelines will be followed that protect client privacy and confidentiality when requesting cooperation in any public relation activities. Clients will always be free to refuse involvement.

APP 2 – Anonymity and Pseudonymity

  1. When possible, if requested, individuals may use a pseudonym or request anonymity when using the services of Home Caring Group.
    1. Due to the nature of service provision, individuals must note that this may not always be possible.

APP 3 – Collection of Solicited Personal Information.

  1. The collection of personal information is kept to the minimum necessary for the provision of service and legal accountability.  The information should only be collected by fair and lawful means (with consent) and if possible, only from the individual themselves.  Example of personal information includes names, addresses and phone numbers.  When information is collected, it will be explained why it is collected and what it will be used for.
  2. Sensitive information will only be used by Home Caring Group:
    1. For the purpose for which it was obtained
    2. For a secondary purpose directly relating to the primary purpose
    3. With appropriate consent, or where required and authorised by law.

APP 4 – Dealing with Unsolicited Personal Information

  1. If Home Caring Group receives unsolicited personal information, all care will be taken to destroy or de identify that information (provided it is lawful to do so).

APP 5 – Notification of the Collection of Personal Information

  1. Clients and staff will be notified when information collected is stored by the Manager
  2. Clients and staff have the right to access personal information held about themselves
    1. Requests for access must be provided in writing and approved by the Manager

APP 6 – Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

  1. Information collected about clients and/or staff will only be stored and disclosed for the purpose it was collected.  There are exceptions to this.

APP 7 – Direct Marketing

  1. Home Caring Group will not use or disclose any clients or staff personal information for marketing purposes without first obtaining consent from the client or personal responsible, or the staff member.

APP 8 – Cross Border Disclosure

  1. Before Home Caring Group discloses personal information to an overseas recipient, the Director will take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs (other than APP 1) in relation to that information.

APP 9 – Adoption, Use or Disclosure of Government Related Identifiers

  1. For further details, see a full explanation of APP 9 at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-resources/privacy-guides/australian-privacy-principles-and-national-privacy-principles-comparison-guide

APP 10 – Quality of Personal Information

  1. Home Caring Group will:
    1. Ensure that personal information collected, used or disclosed is accurate, complete and up to date
    2. Protect the personal information it holds from misuse and form unauthorised access, modification or disclosure
    3. Permanent de-identify personal information that is no longer needed (including archiving).

APP 11 – Security of Personal Information

  1. Home Caring Group will ensure that:
    1. Personal information is protected from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification and inappropriate disclosure
    2. Personal information is stored in a manner that reasonably protects from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification and inappropriate disclosure
    3. Ensure staffs’ electronic data is kept within a secure network and that staff only access data necessary to perform their role
    4. When personal information is no longer needed, the information will be destroyed or permanently archived by the Manager.

APP 12 – Access to Personal Information

  1. Clients and staff have the right to access personal information held about themselves
  2. Requests for access will be provided in writing where appropriate, the Manager must ensure that a private location is provided for the person to view their information.
  3. Identification may be required from the person requesting the information.

APP 13 – Correction of Personal Information

  1. Home Caring Group will ensure personal information held is accurate, up to date, complete and relevant which is monitored by through the internal audit schedule.
  2. Staff, clients or third parties will be asked to clarify information on an annual basis.  Personal records will be updated as soon as practicable.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012
  • Australian Privacy Principles 2014
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Notifiable Data Breaches Policy
  • Human Rights Policy
  • Security of information policy
  • Documentation and Record Keeping policy

Section 1.2 Risk Management

CHANGE MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group understands that change management is the process of taking a planned and structured approach to help align an organisation with the change. In its most simple and effective form, change management involves working with an organisation’s stakeholder Groups to help them understand what the change means for them, helping them make and sustain the transition and working to overcome any challenges involved. From a management perspective it involves the organisational and behavioural adjustments that need to be made to accommodate and sustain change.

PROCEDURE:

  1. To ensure clarity about any change, the manager and/or Executive management team must consider, but not limited to:
    1. Why the initiative is being undertaken – What are the business drivers?
    2. What outcomes and objectives the change is seeking to achieve?
    3. How the change will benefit stakeholders and the Company?
    4. What is the impact on all stakeholders?
  2. The manager and/or executive management team must collaborate with all staff to gain their views/ideas and support as well as provide input into the development of this message.
  3. The participation of organisational leaders in the development of the change vision will help determine what is strategically most important to the change effort. Without a shared vision of the change, other competing objectives may take priority, making it more difficult to align day-to-day operations with the change goals.
  4. The manager and/or executive management team establishes a detailed action plan to provide a full, realistic understanding of the upcoming challenges and complexities and who will be the person responsible with time frames and follow up points of review.
  5. When the change vision, outcome and objectives, then managers will identify and agree on the anticipated organisational support required for the change, e.g. revised business processes/policies, new infrastructure (including technology) or skills requirements.
  6. Once the organisation support requirement for change are determined the development of a detailed action plan is completed to achieve the change. The minimum standard for the Change Plan should state:
    1. The objectives to be achieved by the change;
    2. The proposed new direction, core business, structure and staffing arrangements to accommodate the change;
    3. How the change is to be implemented, including how the change will be communicated to the workforce and other stakeholders;
    4. The resources to be used, and the timelines;
    5. The relevant human resources principles and policies to be applied, particularly in relation to staffing issues; and
    6. How performance in the changed environment will be assessed in relation to the stated objectives i.e. how the organisation will know when it has achieved the desired change (performance indicators and measures)
    7. The Change Plan should continually be reviewed and needs to be flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

Change management governance

  1. Change management governance involves establishing appropriate roles, responsibilities and a structure within the organisation to ensure a successful change.
  2. While each change process will adopt a governance structure suitable to its specific context and goals, the following represent basic change governance roles that can be used as a model for establishing a change governance structure.
    1. The Steering Committee provides overall oversight for the change process, setting the direction and providing leadership. It also ensures that the change process remains aligned with the organisation’s strategic vision and direction.
      1. The Steering Committee is the key body within the change governance structure that is responsible for the business issues associated with the change. And should consist of representative from various roles across the organisation
      2. The Steering Committee ensures the achievement of change outcomes/benefits. Its responsibilities include:
        1. defining and realising outcomes/benefits,
        2. ensuring appropriate risk management processes are applied,
        3. quality and timelines,
        4. making any policy and resourcing decisions, and
        5. assessing requests for changes to scope.
  • The Steering Committee should meet at regular intervals, act as a forum to discuss critical issues and make decisions to ensure that the change continues to move forward.
  1. Project manager is responsible for managing the overall day to day change management process and implementation, including coordination of any different work streams that may be required
  2. Work Stream Owners. Depending on its complexity a change initiative may be broken down into work Groups or streams, i.e. sets of activities that lead to an outcome, and to which clearly identifiable outputs can be associated.
  1. The Manager and/or Executive management team needs to engage its stakeholders and ensure they are kept informed and provided with messages and information that allow them to feel engaged, thus paving the way for involvement and adoption.
    1. To do that, stakeholders need to understand the reasons why the change is happening and its benefits.
    2. They also need to have an opportunity to express their views and contribute their own ideas about how it might be implemented.
    3. Even if the change is non-negotiable, cooperation and collaboration to achieve the change is more likely if stakeholders are involved and kept informed.

Stakeholder Analysis

  1. People can resist change for many reasons: self-interest, denial, fear of the unknown or different perceptions. If you understand the root of possible resistance to change then you can often plan for it before it becomes a significant obstacle
  2. Stakeholder analysis is an important means of uncovering potential resistance or other risks to the success of the change and is conducted by the Project Manager, who recognises that the larger and more disruptive the change, the more vital it becomes to assess different participants’ influence on the change.
  3. Whether a change is large or small a stakeholder analysis is a useful way to:
    1. Determine specific stakeholders or stakeholder Groups, and their relationship to the change
    2. Identify their current attitudes toward the change and level of influence,
    3. Identify their communication needs, and any risks associated with not meeting their needs,
    4. Determine the general means for delivering change messages that will meet the needs, as well as appropriate timing.
  4. Without a stakeholder analysis and evaluation of the risk involved, the governance committee risks communicating inappropriately, resulting in stakeholder conflicts and uncertainty.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Attendant Care Industry Standards 2013 – (ACIS 2013)
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019

Related policies

  • Business continuity policy
  • Governance and Central management policy
  • Effective workplace environment policy
  • Leadership and Accountability policy

COMPUTER AND MOBILE USAGE POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group provides computer, mobile and internet usage as part of staff’s tools of trade and related professional activities.

PROCEDURE:

  1. To prevent the introduction of virus contamination into the software system, the following rules must be observed:
    1. unauthorised software including public domain software, magazine cover disks/CDs or internet downloads must not be used; and
  2. all software must be virus checked using standard testing procedures before being used.
  1. To control the use of the Company’s computer equipment and reduce the risk of contamination, the following rules will apply:
    1. the introduction of new software must first be checked and authorised by management before general use will be permitted;
    2. only authorised staff are permitted access to the Employer’s computer equipment;
    3. only software that is used for business applications may be used on the Employer’s computer equipment;
    4. no software may be brought onto or taken from the Employer’s premises without prior authorisation;
    5. unauthorised access to computing facilities will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal; and
    6. unauthorised copying and/or removal of computer equipment and/or software will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
  2. The use of the internet to access and/or distribute any kind of offensive material, or material that is not work-related, leaves an individual liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
  3. Home Caring Group will not tolerate the use of the internet at work for unofficial or inappropriate purposes, including:
    1. accessing websites which put the Employer at risk of viruses, compromising copyright or intellectual property rights;
    2. using social media in breach of the Employer’s social media policy;
    3. connecting, posting or downloading any information unrelated to their employment and pornographic or other offensive material; and
    4. engaging in computer hacking and other related activities or attempting to disable or compromise the security of information contained on the Employer’s computers.

Email

  1. Work email is available for communication and matters directly concerned with the legitimate business of the Employer. Employees using work email should:
    1. comply with Employer communication standards;
    2. only send emails to those to whom they are relevant;
    3. not use email as a substitute for face-to-face communication or telephone contact with clients;
    4. not send inflammatory emails (i.e. emails that are abusive);
    5. be aware that hasty messages sent without proper consideration can cause upset, concern or misunderstanding;
    6. if the email is confidential, ensure that the necessary steps are taken to protect confidentiality; and
    7. be aware that offers or contracts transmitted by email are as legally binding on the Employer as those sent on paper.
  2. Unauthorised or inappropriate use of work email may result in disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal including but not limited to:
    1. any messages that could constitute bullying, harassment or other detriment;
    2. personal use (e.g. social invitations, personal messages, jokes, cartoons, chain letters or other private matters);
    3. on-line gambling;
    4. accessing or transmitting pornography;
    5. social media;
    6. transmitting copyright information and/or any software available to the user; or
    7. posting confidential information about other employees, the Employer or its customers or suppliers.

Monitoring

  1. Home Caring Group considers any and all data created, stored or transmitted upon the systems (the Systems) as work product and, as such, expressly reserves the right to monitor and review any data upon the Systems, including your usage and history, on an intermittent basis without notice.
  2. Home Caring Group has the right to protect its business interests and confidentiality. This includes the right to survey, audit and/or monitor its Systems, including but not limited to:
    1. monitoring sites users visit on the internet;
    2. monitoring time spent on the internet;
    3. reviewing material downloaded or uploaded; and
    4. reviewing emails sent and received.
  3. Information reports will be available to the Employer which can subsequently be used for matters such as disciplinary proceedings or system performance and availability, capacity planning, cost re-distribution and the identification of areas for personal development.

Mobile Phone/Social Media Usage

  1. The use of mobile phones for personal calls, texting, emailing or social media use whilst on shift is discouraged. Limited personal use is permitted providing you observe the following:
  2. Whilst on shift you are expected to attend to your clients, supervise and interact with them, if you are taking personal phone calls, texting or using social media websites you are not providing high quality care.
  3. Whilst on shift please remember to have your phone on silent or vibrate mode so as not to offend clients or family with loud or offensive ring tones.
  4. If you receive a personal phone call, text or email whilst on shift please let it go to message bank and reply when the client is sleeping, resting or during your break (if applicable), or whenever possible wait until the end of your shift. If making a call whilst on your break please explain this to the client/guardian and remember to speak in a quiet tone and keep the call as brief as possible.
  5. From time to time the office may need to contact you during shift times for emergencies or change of details. Please excuse yourself and take the call if it is an appropriate time otherwise return the call when you are able.  Please remember to speak in a low tone or find a quiet spot where you can still provide supervision to your client.
  6. Staff are reminded that it is illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving for any purpose including GPS maps/devices without a hands-free device.
  7. Staff are permitted to take emergency calls from family during their shift times.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012
  • Australian Privacy Principles 2014

Related policies

  • Information and Communication technologies management policy
  • Social media policy
  • Privacy and confidentiality policy
  • Notifiable data breaches policy

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group acknowledges the significance of Information and Communication Technology Management (ICT) and strives to maintain an industry leading application of technology in support of all aspects of the business.Home Caring Groupmaintains that the appropriate use of technology is achieved through:

  • Security and confidentiality of all information;
  • Appropriate storage and handling of sensitive material;
  • Correct procurement, implementation and maintenance of ICT equipment; and
  • The need to communicate with other agencies and governing bodies.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Home Caring outsources technical support and the management of centralised ICT services and infrastructure to OZE IT ozeit.com.au
  2. Technical support and/or changes to all centrally managed ICT services, assets and infrastructure are provided by OZE IT
  3. All ICT assets that have reached end of life must be disposed of by the site Manager and documented on the Assets register.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)
  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 NSW
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Computer and mobile usage policy
  • Security of information policy
  • Social media policy
  • Contractors, Vendors and supplier’s policy
  • Equipment and Asset management policy

RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group aims to achieve best practice in the management of risks that threaten to adversely impact on the organisation, its functions, objectives, operations, assets, staff, clients or members of the public.

In managing risk, the organisation:

  • Implements and documents risk management
  • Identifies risks and treatments in accordance with procedures and guidelines
  • Mitigates and controls any losses
  • Reduces the costs of risks
  • Achieves best practice in risk management

Risk management is a continual process that involves the following key steps:

  • Establish the context
  • Communicate and consult
  • Identify risks
  • Analyse and evaluate risks
  • Treat risks
  • Monitor and review

In addition to this policy Home Caring Group operates a comprehensive safety management system designed to specifically manage Work Health and Safety (WHS).

PROCEDURE:

  1. Executive management team will establish risk context as part of its regular and ongoing planning. This involves considering, but not limited to:
    1. Home Caring Group’s purpose, philosophy, aims and objectives
    2. Laws, regulations, rules and standards that apply
    3. Internal and external relationships
    4. Current activities
    5. Current strengths and weaknesses
    6. Current risk management systems
  2. Executive management team will consult with internal and external stakeholders to provide different perspectives on potential risks. Consultation includes, but not limited to:
    1. forums/workshops,
    2. annual surveys/questionnaires,
    3. feedback forms,
    4. Informal consultation may occur through general discussion or observation when interacting with stakeholders.
  3. The development and implementation of risk management is guided by the Quality and Safety subcommittee

Risk identification

  1. Managers identifies risks through formal and informal processes such as targeted consultation, observation of workplace practices, monitoring of regulatory requirements, organisational system reviews, regular audits (e.g. WHS, policy compliance), analysis of information gathered relating to WHS incidents and complaints, and project planning.
  2. Organisational risks are categorised and summarised as:
Type

 

Examples include
Strategic ·        Goal and intended outcomes of Home Caring Group

·        Intellectual property

·        Reputation

·        Organisation and sector positioning

·        Resourcing, growth and improvement

 

Compliance ·        Entity legislation (e.g. incorporations, co-operatives or others)

·        Contractual obligations

·        Insurance

·        Taxation

·        Employment legislation (refer to the Human Resources Policy)

·        Work health safety legislation

·

Financial ·        Fraud

·        Income, budget and expenditure operations

·        Debt collection

·        Governance and management

 

Operational

 

·        Governance

·        Service delivery (e.g. clinical, projects, programs)

·        General equipment, resources and facilities

·        Human resource management

·        Information management

·        Break-in, theft, and fire

 

Marketing/environment/ external risks ·        Natural disasters or major storms

·        Changes in government and/or government policy

·        Major legislation change

 

 

  1. The development and implementation of risk management is communicated to all relevant parties throughout the process by Managers and executive team.
  2. The risk assessment matrix, likelihood and rating tables below are applied to all identified risks to determine their level of risk based on two categories: likelihood and impact.

Risk assessment also includes reviewing existing controls, whether specific to that risk or by default.

Risk matrix

Likelihood Almost certain Low Medium Medium Medium -High High High
Likely Low Low – Medium Medium Medium -High High
Possible Low Low Medium Medium -High High
Unlikely Low Low Low – Medium Medium Medium -High
Rare Low Low Low Medium Medium -High
Minimal Minor Moderate Significant Severe
  Impact

 

Risk likelihood

Rating Description
Almost certain 90% or greater probability Expected to occur in most circumstances
Likely 50-90% probability Will probably occur in most circumstances
Possible 20-50% probability Could occur at some time
Unlikely 10-20% probability Not expected to occur
Rare <10% probability Would occur only in exceptional circumstances

 

  1. The risk rating assists Managers and/or Executive Management team in determining if the risk is acceptable or unacceptable. A low rating risk may be expected and acceptable with minimal treatment response, whereas a high rating risk is not acceptable and therefore requires at least one treatment response to minimise or eliminate risk.
High Should generally be avoided
Medium-High Requires short-term action to mitigate the risk
Medium Requires medium-term action to mitigate the risk (work within other priorities)
Low-Medium May require attention
Low Manage by routine procedure

 

  1. Risk treatment involves identifying and implementing actions to eliminate risks or reduce their impacts; in treating risk the organisation and staff members ensure:
    1. The cost of implementing risk treatments is balanced with the expected and actual risk reduction outcomes
    2. If eliminating risk is to discontinue an activity, remove an identified risk item, or avoid new or potential risks
    3. Risk reduction activity is implementing reasonable and practical steps to reduce risks and minimise loss, injury or harm. For example, where transport of heavy boxes is unavoidable, a trolley and safe lifting training is provided
    4. Major risks and their responding treatments are logged in the organisation’s Risk Register
    5. Risks that are substantially mitigated by the existence of a specific organisational policy or listed in the organisation’s Compliance Register may not be required to be recorded in the Risk Register
    6. Risks specific to individual projects are identified and responded to through project implementation and may not be required to be recorded in the Risk Management Plan

Risk management plan

  1. Managers implements risk management plans for specific activities that carry likely or almost certain risk, which are inherent in working with our clients.
    1. The plans provide specific guidance to staff in managing concerns that are likely to arise when providing direct client services.
  2. After analysing and evaluating risks, the treatment of those risks is developed with the aim of eliminating the risk or minimising consequences. Priority is given to risks with a high overall risk.
  3. Risk management is a continuous quality improvement process and monitored by Managers/ Executive Management team and Quality and Safety Subcommittee.
    1.  Monitoring risks, reviewing risk treatments and reviewing the effectiveness of the overall risk management system is an ongoing process.
  4. Monitoring and reviewing activities include:
    1. Re-consideration of the contexts, rating, treatment and responsibilities
    2. Risks identified through the organisation’s Risk Management Plan are reviewed and updated every 6 months by the Operations Manager,
    3. The Managers and Quality and Safety subcommittee reviews the organisation’s Risk Register and Compliance Register bi-annually
    4. Previously identified risks may become de-activated through a monitoring and review process, where the likelihood and impact of loss, injury or harm is assessed as non-existent or negligible
    5. Workplace health and safety risks are reviewed quarterly through workplace audits and discussed at the Quality & Safety subcommittee
    6. Clinical risks are monitored and review regularly through case discussion meetings and supervision and at Clinical Governance meeting.
  1. Risk management plans are developed and regularly reviewed for the delivery of services to those areas where risk is likely or almost certain.
    1. Risks that are assessed as specific to individual projects are reviewed through project mechanisms such as scheduled milestone checks, progress reporting, advisory Group meetings, stakeholder feedback, outcome monitoring, and end-of-project evaluation.
    2. Risks are also reviewed and their status is updated following a risk incident, such as a clinical incident, workplace accident, cuts to funding, damage to reputation, or not meeting taxation compliance requirements

Reporting and record keeping

  1. Risks identified in the Risk Management Plan are reported to the Board at each Board meeting or more frequently when a significant risk is identified.
    1. Related discussion and outcomes are recorded in relevant minutes.
  2. Risk management discussions and outcomes from staff meetings are recorded in meeting minutes.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporation Act 1984 (NSW) No 143
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) No 50
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Board policy and management policy
  • Leadership and accountability policy
  • Accident, Incident, hazard response reporting and investigation policy
  • Adverse events management policy
  • Environmental and disaster management policy
  • WHS & General Safety policy
  • Protecting children and young people policy
  • Protecting older persons policy

SECURITY OF INFORMATION POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group aims to ensure that all information including digital information are appropriately protected, handled and secured, protecting the rights of clients and all employees.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Security of Information is applied via the following means:
    1. Issue of Username and Passwords data maintained by IT/ Admin:
    2. Staff ID number;
    3. username; and password
    4. Client ID numbers
  2. Compliance issues are raised at:
    1. Managers’ Meeting to raise and discuss issues related to regulatory compliance.
    2. Changes to be incorporated into existing records including Policies, Flow Charts, Procedures and Forms as required.
    3. Changes in practice to be discussed and communicated at both employee and consumer forums as required.
    4. Record changes on Continuous improvement Register.
    5. Update Forms Register (if/when required).
  3. Client paper records are:
    1. Kept in locked filing cabinets
    2. Secured when taking client information into the community such as emergency information in bus outing
    3. When coordinators away from their desks, client information secured and desktops logged off.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 NSW
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Privacy Act 1998
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • ICT management policy

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to providing guidance on the use of social media at work. It is important that employees understand the difference between making representations on social media platforms on behalf of Home Caring Groupand the personal use of social media. Social media includes but not limited to blogs and micro blogs (Twitter, Yammer), social networks (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn etc.), wikis (Wikipedia), podcasts, social bookmarking sites (Digg, Delicious), forums and discussion boards (Google Groups, Yahoo! Groups) and photo and video sharing (Flickr, YouTube).

PROCEDURE:

  1. Cyber bullying is the act of using social media and online technologies to act out repeated unreasonable and unwelcome behaviour directed towards an individual or Group that creates a risk to health and safety. Staff are expressly forbidden to:
    1. Posting of critical comments posted on personal websites; or
    2. Posting comments that discriminate against employees by any protected classification including race, gender, nationality or religion; or
    3. the exclusion of one work colleague out of a Group of colleagues from a personal social media page; or
    4. the posting of photos or other comments relating to the behaviour of a work colleague on a personal website or other form of social media; or
    5. sending unlawful, threatening, intimidating, harassing, abusive, offensive, pornographic, sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate messages.
    6. Staff should report any instances of online harassment or cyber bullying to Managers immediately. Any instances of online harassment will be dealt with according to the Staff complaints, grievance and resolution policy
  1. Employees have a Duty of Care to all clients receiving services, for this reason use of social mediafor personal reasons whilst on shift with a client on mobile devices or other means is forbidden.
  2. Staff are asked not to provide their phone numbers or communicate with clients or their families via Social Media Sites including but not limited to Facebook & Instagram to protect their privacy and to maintain boundaries between client carer relationships.
  3. All staff will abide by Privacy & Confidentiality policy and observe relevant legislation including the Privacy Amendment Act 2012 and Health Records and Information Privacy Act, 2002 whilst corresponding via internet, email or social media.

Mobile Phone/Social Media Usage

  1. The use of mobile phones for personal calls, texting, emailing or social media use whilst on shift is discouraged. Limited personal use is permitted providing you observe the following:
    1. Whilst on shift you are expected to attend to your clients, supervise and interact with them, if you are taking personal phone calls, texting or using social media websites you are not providing high quality care.
    2. Whilst on shift please remember to have your phone on silent or vibrate mode so as not to offend clients or family with loud or offensive ring tones.
    3. If you receive a personal phone call, text or email whilst on shift please let it go to message bank and reply when the client is sleeping, resting or during your break (if applicable), or whenever possible wait until the end of your shift. If making a call whilst on your break please explain this to the client/guardian and remember to speak in a quiet tone and keep the call as brief as possible.
    4. From time to time the office may need to contact you during shift times for emergencies or change of details. Please excuse yourself and take the call if it is an appropriate time otherwise return the call when you are able.  Please remember to speak in a low tone or find a quiet spot where you can still provide supervision to your client.
    5. Staff are reminded that it is illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving for any purpose including GPS maps/devices without a hands-free device.
    6. Staff are permitted to take emergency calls from family during their shift times.

Restrictions

  1. Home Caring Group has a responsibility to protect its holdings and reputation from inappropriate or unlawful use, behaviour, damage, copyright infringements and or loss.
  2. Home Caring Group staff are expressly forbidden to post any material online about the company or on behalf of company including emails or social media sites that is unlawful, abusive, defamatory, invasive on another’s privacy or obscene to a reasonable person.
  3. Staff who are found to be intentionally creating or sending information that could damage the Company’s reputation or interest will undergo disciplinary action.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • The Privacy Amendment Act 2012
  • Health Records and Privacy Information Act 2002
  • Australian Consumer Law

Related policies

  • Notifiable Data Breaches policy
  • Privacy and Confidentiality policy
  • Conflict of Interest policy
  • Reportable Conduct policy
  • Code of Conduct and Ethics policy
  • Staff complaints, grievance and resolution policy

Section 1.3 Financial Management

CONTRACTORS, VENDORS & SUPPLIERS POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that extends to all personnel; including workers, contractors, suppliers and vendors. Suppliers, contractors and vendors shall be subject to risk-based health and safety evaluation processes across all business operations.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Managers are responsible for the oversight and coordination of all operational and site activities for contractors.
    1. The process for managing contractors commences at negotiation through mobilisation, work execution and close-out of contracts.
    2. Contractor selection shall be based on expertise and experience and may extend to include contractors, vendors or suppliers’ internal workplace health and safety records
  2. Contractor Work Health and Safety Requirements include:
    1. Provide information on the hazards associated with their equipment, products and services and maintain up-to-date plant and equipment registers including statutory, maintenance and test inspections;
    2. Submit documented risk assessment and control plans for scope of work, ensuring that risk assessment is in consultation with other duty holders and relevant workers;
    3. Demonstrate appropriate skills, certification (for prescribed work) and experience for the work and complete verification of competency (VOC) processes where applicable;
    4. Ensure the safe use of plant and substances on all operational sites and monitor compliance to agreed safe systems, contract obligations and legal requirements;
  3. Participate in WH&S reporting;
    1. Report all hazards, incidents, dangerous occurrences or near misses involving personnel, plant and equipment and processes for which they are responsible;
    2. The level of induction and training shall be determined by location and risks of the work being undertaken on behalf of the organisation;
    3. Health and safety standards shall be communicated pre-tender and checkpoints included in contracts.
    4. Audits will be carried out focusing on safe work practices, particularly for high risk work;
    5. Workplace inspections and audits of contracted works shall be conducted at frequencies agreed in consultation with contractors
  4. Consultation, cooperation and coordination of work activities shall occur between Home Caring managers (or their delegates) and contractors responsible for the work being performed;
    1. Consultation processes shall include as a minimum; consideration for work programs prior to commencement, ongoing workplace inspections, safety meetings and WH&S reporting;
    2. Ongoing monitoring and review of contractor work activities and WH&S and service standards shall be conducted by the responsible Brand Manager or their delegate.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Related policies

  • Equipment and Asset management policy
  • Internal audit policy
  • Risk assessment and controls policy

CLIENT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home CaringGroupis committed to transparent, comprehensive and secure management of its client finances, ensuring all statutory and financial obligations are addressed.  Home Caring Group uses an integrated Client Management software for the management and client billing and invoice generation.

PROCEDURE:

  1. All services which operate as a government licensed provider ie. NDIS and Home Care Packaged programs must adhere to government guidelines.
  2. Clients program finances are guided by their Individual budgets.
  3. Managers are responsible for ensuring accurate reporting of hours in the client management software.
  4. Managers are responsible for ensuring relevant financial claims are made in the relevant government portals, such as NDIS portal and Medicare.
  5. For Home Care Package, the accounts department is responsible for ensuring timely distribution of monthly invoices and related billing.
  6. The case manager discusses with the client, entry and exit fees at the initial assessment and at subsequent reviews.
  7. For NDIS participants who self-manage or plan manage, the accounts department is to send the invoice to the client.
  8. Payment and invoicing conditions are set up in the service agreement.
  9. For brokerage clients, invoices need to pay within 14 days.
  1. Pricing and relevant fees are made publicly available to the customer.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporations Act 2009 (NSW)
  • Australian Accounting Standards 2017
  • Aged Care Act 1997
  • Aged Care Quality Standards 2019
  • NDIS Quality & Safeguards 2018

Related policies

  • Client Financial management policy
  • Financial management policy
  • Equipment and Asset management policy

CREDIT/DEBIT CARD POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group uses a Credit/Debit Card to assist the purchase of goods and services. The purpose of the card is to reduce administrative costs and paperwork.  This policy outlines the rules that govern Credit Card usage and conditions.All business credit cards are limited to the use of Executive employees only. Debit cards can be utilised for employees/ programs in lieu of petty cash. Executive employees are defined as, approved by Managing Director(MD). The Company’s preferred bank is Commonwealth Bank.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Requesting and obtaining a Company credit/debit card
    1. All credit/debit card requests are to be made in writing to Managing Director. Request for card authorisations should be directed to MD for approval.
    2. The Accounts department is responsible for establishing card accounts and the issuance and cancellation of cards.
    3. The Accounts Dept. is responsible for the operation and control of the Credit Card system and has the authority to cancel immediately any card considered as being misused.
  1. Credit/ Debit Card Spending Limits
    1. The MD sets limits and will vary the credit limit of all cards depending on position and program.
    2. The card holder must not exceed the limit of the credit card and if one does, it is the cardholders responsibility to pay the incurred over the limit fees.
    3. Company credit cards are not permitted to be used for cash advances.
  1. Responsibilities of the Cardholder
    1. The card holder will be responsible for the security of the card as well as the privacy of any information related to the Company.
    2. The card holder must ensure that the card is kept in a safe location, the card is free from fraudulent activities and the card’s identification number is protected.
    3. Company credit cards are only used for business-related activities only. Company credit cards must not be used for personal usage ie. any expense not related to the business operation.  Inappropriate usage of credit cards will result in immediate disciplinary action.
    4. Where a card is lost or stolen, the credit card holder must immediately report to MD and accounts department. Accounts to activate card suspension and card holder report incident to supervisor.
  1. Credit/Debit Card Usage Review
    1. Credit/ Debit card reviews of expenditure are conducted by Account department.
    2. It is the responsibility of card holder to provide all receipts to accounts department weekly and in line with accounting standards.
    3. The Accounts department should verify all receipts and other expenditure documents submitted by employees to be authentic.
    4. The Accounts Department shall verify all receipts before proceeding with a top up to the debit card account.
    5. Every card holder must attach expenditure receipts to the monthly statement before submission to the company for verification purposes. Ensure these are done on time to avoid late payments.
  1. Credit Card Record Keeping
    1. Credit card records are kept by the Accounts department for a period of 7 years.
  1. Payment of Card expenses
    1. Payment of credit card expenses is the responsibility of accounts department.
  1. Employee exit
    1. Upon resignation/ termination, the employee must return their credit/ debit card to accounts department.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017
  • Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) 2012
  • Associations Incorporation Act 2009 NSW
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Australia Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth)

Related policies

  • Financial Management policy
  • Privacy & Confidentiality policy
  • Security of Information policy
  • Leadership & Accountability policy

EQUIPMENT AND ASSET MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group acknowledges the importance of sound maintenance management practices seeking to always have facilities, equipment and assets maintained and managed in a safe and serviceable condition.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Managers will establish and maintain management practices and systems that account for the following:
    1. an Asset Register and all purchased, leased or hired equipment or facilities will be entered onto the register by the Accounts Department
    2. Corporate Services or a delegated person will periodically inspect all items of equipment or facilities and determine the routines for ongoing service and maintenance checks including inspection and certification of registered plant or facilities which may involve external agencies or specialists;
    3. A schedule for regular inspection, maintenance and cleaning will be established and maintained by Manager at each site.
  2. All equipment that requires service and maintenance by external agents will have a service agreement in place which is reviewed periodically to ensure serviceability of all items;
  3. Maintenance, repairs, alterations and tasks shall be carried out in a safe manner by appropriately trained and competent persons.
  4. All high-risk tasks (such as working at heights, on roofs or in confined spaces etc.) shall only be undertaken following risk assessment of the activities and shall be done having consideration for relevant WH&S regulations and Australian Standards;
  5. Records of maintenance and servicing of equipment, facilities and assets will be kept and maintained by the Manager at each site.
  6. Equipment and facilities that are identified as posing a risk to safety will be immediately removed from service or isolated and tagged ‘Out of Service’.
  7. Equipment and assets must be signed off as safe for use by the head of maintenance before they are returned to service;
  8. The Manager or the delegate will notify the Operations Manager of any equipment or utility failure, damage or concerns with serviceability that may cause any disruption to service delivery;
  9. All electrical equipment (including personal items) shall be tested and tagged by a licensed electrician or certified person(s).
  10. The frequency of the testing and tagging will be determined following a risk assessment but shall not exceed annually.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Related policies

  • Financial management policy
  • WHS & General Safety
  • Contractors, Vendors and Suppliers policy

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT:

Home Caring Group fosters a philosophy where the management and delivery of financial services is applied and practiced with accuracy and integrity and where systems of accountability and transparent reporting are cornerstones of the business.

Home Caring Group’s financial management practices will follow all legislative guidelines and standard practices in accountability with integrity and professionalism. Financial accountability of Home Caring Group will be reflected in the practices of purchasing, acquisition, contracting, service provision, documentation and financial reporting and recording. All aspects of financial management shall include systems of reporting and audit to demonstrate effective and efficient fiscal management across all elements of the business

PROCEDURE:

  1. Annual Budgets are developed based on informed estimates, rather than guesses, of the income and expenditure items. Income may be informed by funding contracts and grants, membership subscriptions, training and event fees, and interest earned. Expenses may be informed by actual quotes, previous years’ amounts adjusted, or comparative amounts from outside the organisation. All budgets are to:
    1. Present a true cash flow position that does not confuse or mislead an audit trail
    2. Be inclusive of all known and planned income and expenditure
    3. Allocate funds solely for the organisation’s purpose and approved strategies
    4. Allocate restricted or tagged funds for designated purposes only
    5. Ensure projected income meets projected expenditure
    6. Be developed using the organisation’s approved budget template
    7. Include explanatory notes as required
  2. Where the organisation develops separate budgets based on program areas, projects or specific activities, a consolidated budget is developed to monitor overall financial state of the organisation.
  3. Annual budget development commences approximately two to three months before the beginning of the upcoming financial year and endorsed budgets provide the basis for control of the organisation’s financial operations for the budget period.
  4. All Financial transactions are made, monitored and recorded by Accounts department. progressively throughout the month and daily for a range of transactions and reports. These documents may include, but not limited to:
    1. Cash Flow statement
    2. Balance sheets
    3. Income and expenditure statements

Accounts payable

  1. All accounts are paid on time and advantage is taken of early payment discounts
  2. Organisation payments are made in accordance with endorsed budgets
  3. Authorisation for purchases is made by Operations Manager and/or Managing Director
  4. Purchase documentation must include a valid Tax Invoice. Payments will not be made in the absence of a valid Tax Invoice.
  5. All completed sections of the Purchase and Payment Authority Form are to include:
    1. Item/service being purchased
    2. Name of supplier (who the payment is going to)
    3. Supplier reference (i.e. invoice number)
    4. Authorised dollar amount
    5. Expense account code and title
    6. Project/budget/cost code which is incurring the expense
    7. Payment method
  6. If a statement or payment reminder notice is issued to the organisation, payment cannot be made without a copy of the original invoice.
  7. Complete and accurate purchase records are made in the organisation’s electronic accounting system and hard copy filing system by the Book Keeper
  8. Purchase records are to be entered at least weekly
  9. All payments are made by electronic banking
  10. All electronic transfer payments must be counter-signed by two authorised signatories
  11. All cheques, with the exception of petty cash and wage cheques, must be stamped with the words ‘Not Negotiable’
  12. Blank cheques must never be signed
  13. Single item purchases must not be split over more than one Tax Invoice for the purpose of avoiding authorised sign-off by Operations Manager and/or Managing Director

Accounts receivables

  1. All sales and revenue-producing activity of the organisation is recorded fully and accurately in the organisation’s accounting systems. Monies received must be recorded in a receipt book and deposited into the Cash Management Account prior to being entered into the accounts
  2. Upon confirmation of a sale/payment, a customer record and fully detailed invoice is created in the electronic accounting system
  3. Sales must remain open until payment is received or the organisation determines it is to be written off as a bad debt.
  4. Received payments must be accurately matched against an open sale invoice and allocated to the designated budget item account before being deposited into the bank account.

Managing Debtors and outstanding debts

  1. A debtor’s list is produced and reviewed monthly by the accounts department to monitor debts.
  2. Debtors are to be provided with communication from the Accounts department reminding them of their debt according to the following timeframes after payment was due
  3. All practical means are undertaken to recover outstanding debts due to the organisation.
  4. Debts are to be written off only when all reasonable attempts at recovery have taken place and recovery has proven to be unsuccessful and further action is either not cost-effective or highly unlikely to succeed.
  5. Approval for debts to be written off must be provided by Operations Manager and/or Managing Director
  6. All debts that have been written off are reported to the Board.
  7. Debt that has been written off is considered an expense item for accounting purposes.

Records Security

  1. Financial records are to be securely maintained, with measures in place to restrict access only to personnel with delegated authority.
  2. Access to financial information, resources and financial transaction capability is restricted by:
  1. Authorising physical and electronic access to delegated personnel only
  • Requiring password access to organisation’s computer network
  1. Requiring password access to financial software programs used by the organisation
  2. Securing all paper financial transaction records in key locked filing cabinet
  3. Securing petty cash in a key locked storage cabinet or safe

Insurance

  1. Home Caring carries sufficient insurance cover to comply with contractual and legislative requirements, and to protect the organisation from financial impacts of mistakes, disasters and accidents.
    1. Insurance policies are reviewed annually by the Board in September and renewed with significant changes to the organisation’s assets, staff and volunteer numbers, or services and activities incorporated into new policies.
    2. Details of the organisation’s insurance policies are maintained by the Operations Manager/ Managing Director Certificates of currency are available on request.

Related Legislation and/or guidelines

  • Associations Incorporations Act 2009 (NSW)
  • Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Australian Accounting Standards 2017

Related policies

  • Client Financial management policy
  • Credit Card policy
  • Equipment and Asset management policy

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