Business Solutions Work Sites

Latest Updates

06th October

Dear Supported Employee Families and Carers,

I would like to update you on the Australian Government's JobKeeper wage subsidy that will impact our Supported Employees.

The JobKeeper wage subsidy that was introduced for businesses affected by COVID-19 ceased on 27th September 2020. We have been working hard over the past week to determine if Endeavour Foundation would be eligible for the JobKeeper extension announced by the Australian Government.

We have now determined that Endeavour Foundation is not eligible for this extension. This means all Endeavour Foundation Supported Employees will no longer have their salary subsidised by JobKeeper.

Please note, there will not be any redundancies or reduction in hours as a direct result of JobKeeper ceasing.

For your information, I’ve enclosed some of the most common FAQs and encourage you to reach out to my team on 1800 112 112 or jobkeeper@endeavour.com.au if you have any questions at all about JobKeeper.

What is JobKeeper?

It was a temporarily wage subsidy from the government to assist organisations in continuing to pay employees, even if they have been impacted by the COVID-19.

The government paid Endeavour Foundation JobKeeper and we passed it on to you through your fortnightly pay. You do not need to do anything now that JobKeeper is stopping.

What happens to my DSP now that JobKeeper stops?

Now that JobKeeper is ceasing, your wage and DSP will to go back to what it was before (unless your circumstances have changed). You do not need to do anything further.

Endeavour Foundation will continue to report wages paid to Services Australia, so the right DSP amount is paid.

More information

If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact our team on 1800 112 112 or email jobkeeper@endeavour.com.au.

We understand the disruption of COVID-19 is difficult and encourage people to look after their wellbeing and mental health at this time. Please know that Benestar, our free counselling service is available for our employees and their families at any time by calling 1300 360 364.

 

Kind regards

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

 


11th September – Update for Supported Employees in Victoria

Dear families and carers For now, all our worksites across Victoria remain closed, however, the Victorian Government has outlined its plan to ease restrictions.

Depending on health advice and daily cases of COVID-19 going down, the Government is hopeful worksites will reopen from Monday 28th September 2020.

While nothing is certain, Endeavour Foundation is also hopeful of this and is making plans now, so we can be ready for your return to work, if restrictions ease as planned.

We will keep in contact with you over the next few weeks with more information and instructions about what ‘your return to work’ will look like. We want you to feel informed and confident throughout the process.

Our priority will always be your health and safety and we will continue to act in line with government restrictions and health advice.

You probably have many questions, so we have compiled a short list of Frequently Asked Questions for you and will add to them as we move through the next few weeks.

Thank you for your understanding throughout this difficult time. We know the continued delay in reopening may be disappointing for some, but we are sure you understand that we have a duty of care to provide a healthy and safe workplace for all members of our team, especially for those with underlying health conditions.

We will be back in touch again soon.

 

Kind regards

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

  


5th August – Closure of Victorian Work Sites Keon Park and Oakleigh

Dear families and carers,

I would like to update you on the current situation at Endeavour Foundation due to the recent new restrictions that have come about in Victoria due to the ongoing increase in COVID-19 case numbers.

The Government announced this week that Victoria has entered a State of Disaster from 2 August until Sunday 13 September to respond to the increase in COVID-19 case numbers and to help reduce the risk of further transmission.

Melbourne moved into Stage 4 restrictions from 2 August which also includes a curfew across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. This means the only reason to leave home during these times will be for work, medical care and caregiving.

Providing a safe workplace for our supported employees, especially those with underlying health conditions, has been and continues to be our number one priority.

With this in mind, we have made the decision to close our remaining work sites effective from COB Friday 7 August. This means that all Victorian based Endeavour Foundation services are currently temporarily closed.

This also means, we will be extending the temporary suspension of supported employment in Victoria until 2 October. We understand this is disappointing for supported employees who were preparing to return to work, however we have a duty of care provide a healthy and safe workplace for supported employees, especially those with underlying health conditions. The ongoing employment of all employees is the highest priority.

We will provide an update to supported employees and families on the return to work status again in September in line with government advice.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Kind regards

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

 


14th July – Victoria services update

While the current Covid-19 transmission situation in Victoria continues to increase, I would like to provide you with an update on what we have been doing to ensure the safety of our people.

With the release of the government restrictions imposed in Victoria on 1 July, the decision was made to temporarily close the Learning and Lifestyle Hub in Keon Park. All the Keon Park customers continue to be contacted regularly for wellbeing check-ins during these restrictions.

Our business solution sites at Norlane, Kew and QArt are temporarily closed and we have also extended the temporary suspension of Supported Employees in Victoria while the phase three Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

We will continue operations at our Keon Park and Oakleigh business solution sites without supported employees as we have been over the last few months in order to maintain our commercial business contracts, and to ensure we can continue operations that provide meaningful ongoing employment for our supported employees.

Please be assured these measures are only temporary and we remain committed to providing support to people with a disability in Victoria.

I would like to congratulate the Victorian team for mobilising the changed circumstances quickly and effectively and keeping our customers and staff safe.

The Emergency Management Committee (EMC) has been meeting regularly to review the situation and implement further actions and controls where necessary. As part of a thorough risk assessment of the current situation we have added additional control measures including:

  • Contactless Sign-in/Sign-out
  • Introduction of Social Distancing Champions to monitor hygiene practices and social distancing
  • Staggered lunch and breaks
  • Re-introduce Covid-19 Infection Control training for managers and Infection Control toolbox talks for all staff
  • Delivery driver to stay with vehicle or in Driver Safe Zone
  • Tool Box Talk on social distancing while travelling by public transport
  • Provide staff with masks if using public transport

It is more important than ever for us all to remain CovidSafe and practice social distance, wash your hands regularly, stay home if unwell and call our Covid-19 hotline for any questions on 1800 983 006.

We are all thinking of our fellow Victorians during this time and we will keep staff, families and supported employees up to date with any decisions as they are known.

We welcome and encourage any feedback you have so please don’t hesitate to email whs.support@endeavour.com.au or call your local WHS Business Partner.

Stay safe.

 

Kind regards

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

 


9th June

Reopening – Select Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions work sites

We are pleased to inform you that we are working towards opening our first wave of work sites and welcoming back some of our Supported Employees by 20 July. A full list of phase one Work Sites can be found below. We will begin contacting Supported Employees and carers to discuss the process for re-starting at work in the next 2 weeks.

Work Sites re-opening on July 20th

Our Work Sites will re-open in phases. The first phase will include the below sites. Other sites will be considered as part of phase 2.

A–C

  • Bowen
  • Bundaberg
  • Burleigh Heads
  • Castle Hill
  • Cairns

G–M

  • Geebung
  • Gladstone
  • Gympie
  • Home Hill
  • Innisfail
  • Kingaroy
  • Mount Druitt
  • Maryborough
  • Mackay
  • Maroochydore
  • Mareeba

O–W

  • Redcliffe
  • Rockhampton
  • Southport
  • Seven Hills
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Wacol
  • Warwick

 


5th June - JobKeeper and Disability Support Pension update

Endeavour Foundation has received more information from the Australian Government about how people can restart the Disability Support Pension (DSP) after JobKeeper payments.

For most supported employees, Endeavour Foundation automatically reports your income payments, including JobKeeper to Services Australia for you.

When supported employees stop receiving JobKeeper we will also report this to Services Australia for you.

All JobKeeper payments stop on 27 September 2020.

This means that if your DSP was reduced by JobKeeper, your DSP payments should automatically go back to normal after JobKeeper payments stop.

You will not need to go through medical assessments again to prove you should receive the DSP.

If your DSP has been suspended due to JobKeeper (mostly this would apply to younger people and couples), you may need to make a phone call to Services Australia to inform them that you have stopped receiving JobKeeper payments, and then your DSP will restart.

Please note, there are a few exceptions:

  • If supported employees declare your own income payments to Services Australia, you will need to keep doing this for the DSP to change.
  • The return to the DSP may be affected if other circumstances have changed (such as having a partner or other income), and you would need to discuss this with Services Australia.
  • If you did not receive the DSP before JobKeeper, this will not change unless your circumstances have changed.

Supported Employees can keep using the Pensioner Concession Card and access medical benefits and concessions on medicines, during the whole JobKeeper payment time.

Further information can be found in the JobKeeper payment EasyRead and in the FAQs.

If you have questions about JobKeeper and the DSP, please call Services Australia during business hours on 132 717 , or for the Multilingual Phone Service call 131 202.

 

6th May – Jobkeeper

Dear Supported Employee, Families and Carers Last week we contacted you about the JobKeeper payments being offered by the Australian Government in response to COVID-19.

We received new information from the Australian Government on Friday 1st of May, which we are sharing with you now.

I hope this new information about the JobKeeper payment will help you make your decision about whether JobKeeper is a good option for your family member in supported employment.

Here’s what we know

Endeavour Foundation is eligible for the JobKeeper payments.

Endeavour Foundation has registered all supported employees for JobKeeper in case you wish to apply. This does not mean you have to apply for JobKeeper – the decision is completely up to you.

The JobKeeper payment is $1,500 per fortnight before tax for supported employees who wish to apply.

People who usually receive less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, will still be paid $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

Endeavour Foundation pays the JobKeeper payment to supported employees, not Service Australia (formerly Centrelink).

All JobKeeper payments stop on 27th September 2020.

Supported Employees can remain in supported employment while they are on JobKeeper, even if their Disability Support Pension is suspended in the meantime.

The JobKeeper payment and the DSP

The JobKeeper payment will impact the Disability Support Pension (DSP) as the amount of DSP paid depends on how much income a person earns.

Receiving more money through the fortnightly $1,500 JobKeeper payment may mean less money through the DSP, or it may mean the DSP will be suspended for the period of the JobKeeper payment.

However, people can still retain their Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) and access medical benefits and concessions on medicines, the whole time they get the JobKeeper payment.

If the DSP is reduced to nil because of the JobKeeper payment, any Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA) payment will also be reduced to nil. Once the DSP payment resumes, the CRA will also resume, provided the CRA requirements are still met.

Supported employees who live in Endeavour Foundation Specialist Disability Accommodation, and their financial decision makers, will need to be aware that your Rent and Board will continue to be charged in the usual way. If you have set up a direct debit, or you make a fortnightly telephone payment, or your invoice is sent to the Public Trustee for payment, that process will continue as normal while you are receiving JobKeeper. Please call 1800 112 112 and ask to speak to our Finance Team if you have concerns about this.

If a supported employee is on the youth rate of DSP (under 21 years of age), their DSP payment is likely to be suspended for the period that they are receiving the JobKeeper payment. Some couples are also likely to have their DSP payment suspended.

If you have specific questions relating to the JobKeeper payment and your situation, you can make an appointment to speak with a Services Australia Financial Information Service Officer (FIS) by calling 13 2300. They are trained to provide advice based on your circumstances.

When the JobKeeper payment stops on 27th September, supported employees should go back to receiving their supported wage and DSP as it was before.

Endeavour Foundation will continue to report wages paid to Services Australia, so the right DSP amount is paid. We will also do this for the JobKeeper payment.

Process for applying

If you decide to apply for the JobKeeper payment for a supported employee, you will need to contact us on 1800 112 112 or send an email to fundingschedules@endeavour.com.au who will help you to process the application.

For more information, I encourage you to please read:

 

I thank you for your patience while we have been getting more information about JobKeeper.

We believe it is important to provide information that will help you decide whether to apply for the payment or not. Your decision, either way, will not affect your employment with Endeavour Foundation.

We still do not know what the process will be for people going back onto the DSP after JobKeeper payments finish, and we do not know whether this will be difficult or not.

We have received several questions about when our work sites will open again for supported employees.

I want to assure you that Endeavour Foundation remains committed to providing supported employment for people with disability.

We value our supported employees and the contribution they make through their work. We also know you have told us how important work is for supported employees and their families. This matters to us, and this is why we have fought hard to protect supported employment for many years.

We are monitoring the government’s advice about COVID-19 closely, and we are preparing to ensure we are ready to re-open at the right time, when we are confident that people can be safe at work.

We look forward to opening our Endeavour Foundation Industries again as soon as possible, and we will be in touch with you when we know more.

 

Yours sincerely

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

 


27th April – JobKeeper

Dear Families and Carers

The Australian Government is giving some financial assistance to people and organisations affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Government is offering the JobKeeper payment to eligible people (via their employer), if the employer has lost income due to the Coronavirus.

We are keen to make sure Supported Employees have access to income support during this difficult time.

The JobKeeper payment is $1,500 per fortnight before tax, and is paid to the employer and passed on to the employee. It will continue until 27th September.

Whilst Endeavour Foundation believes we are eligible for the JobKeeper program and has made an application this week, we have concerns about the impact of JobKeeper payments on access to the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

For two weeks we have been asking the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services about these concerns.

I have written to the Minister for Social Services, the Minister for the NDIA and the Federal Treasurer asking for help to address these concerns.

We believe there may be a number of unintended consequences for Disability Support Pensioners who receive the JobKeeper payment.

Late today we received answers to some of these questions, which may help you to make these important decisions about whether you want to apply for the JobKeeper payment.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Most single people on the youth rate of DSP (under 21 years of age) will not be eligible for DSP payments if they go on to the JobKeeper payment.
  • Others may also lose some or all of their DSP depending on total income.
  • If you no longer receive a DSP payment you can keep your Pensioner Concession Card for 52 weeks and most of the benefits that go with it, including medical benefits and concessions on your medicines.
  • If your DSP is suspended for up to 2 years, you will lose your Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA).

The Government has also not made it clear whether people will remain eligible for the supported employment program, if they stop receiving DSP payments. This is an issue because the DSP is a condition of access to supported employment, and it is also a condition for Endeavour Foundation to be funded for supported employment services.

There are some other issues for families and supported employees to be aware of in relation to JobKeeper:

While JobKeeper is greater in value than the DSP, it will only be paid for a six month period. (The standard DSP payment is $944.30/fortnight whereas the JobKeeper payment is $1,500/fortnight before tax.)

We have been told that Supported Employees who stop receiving pension payments will need to “reactivate” their status as a Disability Support Pensioner. It is unclear how difficult this will be and we have asked the Government for a better solution. However, we understand people will not be required to provide medical proof that they qualify for the DSP.

It is also unclear whether some people would have their public housing rental charges assessed at a higher level if they receive extra income from JobKeeper payment.

Please note there are other impacts for people who receive the Carer Payment.

Refer to the factsheet here for the information currently available from the Government.

We are speaking to the Australian Government every day in an effort to get more detailed information for you.

We will contact family members, carers and supported employees when we have more information, to discuss the details and assist with any forms that are required.

Once again, thank you for your patience while we wait for information about JobKeeper.

Ultimately the decision about whether to participate in JobKeeper will be up to each person and their decision-making supports.

We are trying extremely hard to get all the answers you need to make these decisions, and have provided all the information currently available at the time of writing to you. We will provide you with more information about the JobKeeper payment for supported employees as soon as it is available.

If you have concerns or questions, please call us on 1800 112 112.

 

Yours sincerely

Andre Donne

Andrew Donne
Chief Executive Officer

 


  

FAQs

  • How does the temporary suspension impact their DSP payment?

    Supported employees who currently receive the DSP will still continue to receive it.

    In some cases, the DSP may increase as a result of decreased earnings.

    If you have questions about the pension you may want to contact the Department of Social Service on 132 717.

  • How does the temporary suspension impact their NDIS funding?

    Be assured that NDIS funding will not be impacted. NDIS funding for supported employment will still be available when supported employees return to work.

    Endeavour Foundation will ensure the funding is ready to go so we can get supported employees back in the workplace as soon as possible.

  • How is their leave arranged?

    Sites will be speaking to all supported employees to help explain the decision and to discuss leave options.

    We will support people to complete the necessary leave application by Friday 3 April.

  • Is this because someone has tested positive for COVID-19?

    No. To date Endeavour Foundation does not have any staff member or customer who has tested positive to COVID-19.

  • What are you doing to protect people?

    Endeavour Foundation is closely monitoring the unfolding situation and responding in accordance with the advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer and Federal Government.

    To keep up to date with the latest information about what is happening with Endeavour Foundation services visit: endeavour.com.au/coronavirus

  • What leave options are available to supported employees?

    Supported employees can access their usual leave entitlements, in the first instance, until it’s safe to start supported employment work again.

    If they do not want to use their leave entitlements, they can go on leave without pay.

    We have prepared a leave entitlement easy read document to make it easy to understand.

  • When can supported employees go back to work?

    We do not know how long supported employment will remain suspended, because the situation us changing day by day. We will resume as normal when the government advises non-essential services can begin operating again, and we are confident we can do so without exposing supported employees to the risk of infection.

  • When is the last working day for supported employees?

    The last working day for all supported employees is Friday 3 April 2020.

  • Why didn’t you give us more notice about this decision?

    The nature of the public health emergency means that we are forced to make unprecedented decisions quickly and in the best interest of our employees. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to update everyone individually or give you as much notice as we may ordinarily like.

    Over the next week, we will have a team in place to call you about this decision. If you have not heard from us within the next 7 days and believe that essential services are required, please feel free to contact us on 1800 112 112.

  • Why is Endeavour Foundation suspending employment for supported employees?

    The health and safety of all employees is paramount. Although we have followed government advice and implemented basic protective measures at all Endeavour Foundation Business Solution work sites, we believe we can no longer guarantee the safety of supported employees during this pandemic situation.

    In the best interest of our supported employees, we have made the difficult decision to suspend supported employment temporarily.

  • Can Endeavour Foundation claim employment supports from the NDIA, even if supported employment is temporarily suspended?

    Current NDIA funding agreements allow us to claim employment supports for 4 weeks while an individual is suspended or on leave. Endeavour Foundation is working hard to ensure our work sites remain commercially viable and we can reopen sites to provide supported employment again after the temporary suspension of services. These funds will be used to help meet costs during the closure, and to plan for recovery.

    Our priority is to ensure people have the supports they need. We are developing initiatives to remain in contact with our people and to provide online and other learning opportunities through this challenging period. If additional supports are needed during the temporary suspension, please contact us on 1800 112 112.

  • What are you doing to protect people?

    Endeavour Foundation is closely monitoring the unfolding situation and responding in accordance with the advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer and Federal Government.

    To keep up to date with the latest information about what is happening with Endeavour Foundation services visit: endeavour.com.au/coronavirus

Setting Up your myGov account

The way Endeavour Foundation employees and supported employees access their End of Financial Year information is changing.

At the end of the financial year, Endeavour Foundation is now required to lodge all employee Income Statements (formerly known as Payment Summaries, PAYG Summaries or Group Certificates) directly with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Please download our resources below to set up your myGov account