We want to ensure you feel welcomed and excited about working with us. We will be working closely with DHHS and communicating with you regularly so you are comfortable about your role in the transfer.
For 45 years Melba Support Services has been committed to providing people with disabilities truly individualised services focused on creating more choice and greater control for each person, over their life.
We support people with disability to live fabulous lives of their choice. We provide a wide variety of supports, including individualised support, day services, community living, recreation and respite, and support coordination.
Melba is passionate about human rights and ensuring everyone is heard and respected.
Our newsletters provide regular updates about what’s happening as we work towards a smooth transition of services for everyone, particularly for the individuals we will support to lead great lives.
Download the FAQ document (DOCX, 3 MB)
Melba will use a relationship management system which will provide the same type of functionality as currently offered in DHHS that effectively supports rostering, shift management and staff availability.
Melba uses CIMS, the incident reporting system that is required for all non-government service providers. We understand that this system is new for DHHS staff and will actively prepare staff to use this system prior to secondment.
Melba is still considering staff requirements in managing client funds, expenditure and accountability and we will provide information as soon as possible.
DHHS is not transferring any of its current IT system and infrastructure. Melba will have replacement equipment and systems in place and fully operational prior to service transfer. We will develop and provide induction to these systems for all staff prior to transfer, so that staff understand and can use these systems.
We have an IT-specific trainer who can provide support with systems as required.
Melba will prepare all employees to use the new policies and procedures from the first day post transfer through effective induction and orientation prior to transfer.
Melba has planned for all employees to be provided with training in the new systems prior to transfer, to enable a smooth transition. Training sessions will be provided locally at venues yet to be determined.
Salary sacrifice opportunities at Melba are currently limited to sacrifice to superannuation.
Transferring staff will be supported to have the same salary packaging opportunities and arrangements that are currently available through DHHS throughout the secondment period.
Melba uses a variety of approaches to recruit staff including traditional methods, social media and, most effectively, word of mouth. Our primary focus when recruiting staff is on identifying potential employees with the right values and passion for the work we do. We do not have minimum qualifications for employees commencing work but support all staff to develop, and continue developing, the skills they need.
Melba will continue to provide mandatory training programs. We understand that DHHS currently pays both course fees and attendance time for refresher training on First Aid and CPR and we will continue this practice.
Melba has a strong Orientation and Induction Program for all new employees. Subsequent training is arranged based on the professional development needs of both individual and groups of employees. Our goal is to ensure relevance and practicability.
Melba has planned to provide three days’ worth of Induction and Orientation for every employee. These will occur progressively over the transfer readiness period. DHHS employees will be notified of the Orientation and Induction dates in the local area as they become available.
Currently, Melba’s rosters are built according to the needs of each person who lives in the service and with the introduction of NDIS funding, this approach has proven to be both appropriate and valuable. Rosters will always be set in accordance with the DSEAV and changes will be discussed in consultation with staff and HACSU. It is our practice to ensure minimal change for maximum value.
We understand that rosters need to be predictable and reliable. A carefully designed roster, developed with the needs of each supported person in mind, should be stable and provide continuity and seamless service. Flexibility to meet ad hoc and temporary support needs is important too and Melba will work with staff to achieve that support.
Melba has a strong commitment to supporting individuals to achieve work-life balance and to enable each employee to manage the challenges of family and work requirements. We work with each employee to understand their unique requirements and to structure work arrangements that enable them to fulfil family and work commitments.
Melba has an effective and responsive after-hours on-call system. We will continue to operate such supports following transfer of DHHS services. The transfer of DHHS services necessitates review of this system to ensure that it complies with all DSEA requirements and any adjustments will be made prior to transfer. We will provide more information on how Melba’s on-call system operates at Orientation and Induction sessions.
We understand how important it is to get the transition of payroll correct. This has been one of our key priorities over the last month and we have allocated project resources to set this up the right way.
You asked several questions about how the payroll will work that are part of a broader discussion with DHHS and in consultation with your union representatives. Melba is keen to provide information as soon as it is available.
The pay slip may not look exactly the same but it will have the detailed information that all employees rightfully expect.
Melba will actively maintain the casual pool of current DHHS staff and continue to recruit to ensure sufficiency of staff resources.
Melba hopes that transferring casual staff will work in the services in which they currently work but will be welcome to pick up shifts in Melba’s other transferring SIL services in the geographic area.
As part of the transfer process, DHHS is currently considering this matter in consultation with HACSU and will provide advice to DHHS employees as soon as this information is available.
Outside of the transfer process, our policy regarding casual staff and part time staff undertaking secondary employment with other employers is that such arrangements are the choice and responsibility of the employee.
Melba will use both rostering system functionality and support personnel to ensure that all services are receiving the support they require to fill casual vacancies, and that casual staff are aware of and have access to vacancies.
Melba always prefers to use part-time and casual staff who are familiar with individuals and services. Transferring DHHS part-time and casual employees will therefore be the first option to fill casual shifts in transferring services. If there is no available transferring casual staff member, then we will consider new casual staff members and third party labour hire staff.
Melba does this in several ways. We will identify part-time and casual staff who are familiar with and preferred by the particular participant and service. This is always our first port of call. If these staff are unavailable, Melba will use other less familiar casuals who have been inducted to Melba’s approach or agency staff who have familiarity with the participants and service.
We have an OHS committee with a strong focus on health. The OHS Committee and HSRs are supported by an OHS Practice Leader as well as experts in the disciplines of positive behaviour support, complex health management and planning.
Melba supports staff to have leave at the time that is right for them. As long as the person has sufficient leave, we will work with that staff member to take the leave that they would like. Leave without pay can be negotiated as well on an individual basis.
We will continue arrangements as per the DSEA.
Melba does not operate interstate but it does enable employees to work across different parts of the business if that is their interest and preference.
Melba will take advice from DHHS in relation to all positions currently occupied by staff in acting positions on an individual basis. DHHS will support employees to understand their status at the time of transfer.
Melba does not employ physio, speech or occupational therapists directly but forge strong relationships with local providers who can provide such supports to any individual who requires that assistance.
Melba will offer a ‘centre of excellence’ to support all participants to enjoy a high quality of life and support employees to provide support in crucial areas of expertise including complex health, effective positive behaviour support and complex communication. The centre will offer skilled planners who can support personal outcome measurement.
We support your current arrangements for support, performance and development
Melba currently operates a ‘flat’ structure and plans to continue to do so in the future. Operations Managers will be directly supported by Regional General Managers who have authority and accountability for service performance and operational at the regional level. These General Managers will be responsible for all services, including SIL and STAA, across the regional area. There are 4 Regional General Managers (East, South, Central Highlands/Wimmera, and Gippsland). Regional General Managers report to the Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO who has responsibility and accountability for all Melba services.
House Supervisors will be based in the service that they support. There will be one House Supervisor for each service.
Melba currently supports services through a cluster approach and intends to maintain this approach with the transferring services.
Prior to transfer, housing and support arrangements will be separated. This may mean changes to the way that certain things happen now. The SDA provider will be responsible for the house, the rates and its maintenance. Melba, as the SIL provider, will be responsible for service provision and the day-to-day operation of the household.
Melba’s approach to managing food and housekeeping will be fully discussed during Orientation and Induction.
The SDA provider, in many cases that is DHHS, is responsible for housing maintenance. Maintenance requirements will be negotiated and documented in the Collaboration Agreement. Melba will discuss these arrangements with staff during Orientation and Induction.
Selection of new residents is the responsibility of the SDA provider but is done in full collaboration with Melba. Compatibility and suitability are important and play a large role in how the new resident is chosen. This will include discussion with existing residents and, wherever possible, an opportunity to meet the potential resident.
Melba will be provided with all current transport arrangements for individuals and use that information to develop a comprehensive transport plan. We have committed to maintaining current transport arrangements. Where shared vehicles are still required, we will develop and maintain a system for shared transport that responds to the needs of the participants.
Melba is developing a respite booking system that will enable on-line and paper or telephone bookings. We will work with current Respite (STAA) House Supervisors and Operations Managers to ensure a reliable, family-friendly approach to bookings.
Melba will honour existing respite bookings, unless there is a compelling reason, such as a significant incompatibility, for adjustment. If this occurs, we will work with the family and staff to offer an alternative arrangement that achieves a positive respite outcome.