How Suitsme does things and what we expect of you.
In here you'll find things like, employment conditions, code of conduct and development resources.
Navigate through the documents using the index on the right.
If you can't find what you are looking for, try looking in Operational Documents, or using the search function.
There are some videos on this page, but we have the full video library here.
If you can't find the information you need or you are still unsure after reading the documents, contact Suitsme management.
Code of conduct
We refer to all our policies and procedures as documents. We try to make it really easy to access and understand our documents; we present as much information as we can in videos, and you can find all our documents on our website. We expect you to follow these documents. We also expect that if you're not sure what to do, you’ll check and read the policies and procedures, and if you’re still not sure, you’ll call your manager.
The Privacy, Confidentiality and Consent document is very important. We encourage you to read it, but it is a pretty long document with lots of legal jargon. The main thing you need to understand is that you need to treat client information as private and confidential. Whether you’re at work or in your personal time never talk about a client without them there, or without their permission.
As an employee of Suitsme you must:
Work in a manner consistent with Suitsme’s Mission, vision and values
Treat your own safety as your number one priority. This includes:
Calling 000 in the case of an emergency or client crisis; not trying to resolve it yourself
Reporting incidents as per Suitsme’s policies and processes
Not smoking while you are on shift.
Obeying all relevant laws
Uphold your duty of care to clients and to Suitsme
Strive to maximise choice and control for clients
Maintain professional boundaries
Never handle, administer or provide advice on medication. Refer clients to their pharmacist or doctor if they need support with this.
Proactively identify and report abuse, neglect and restrictive practices inflicted on clients.
Always be professional, courteous, honest and fair in dealing with clients and their families, carers, co-workers, managers and the general public.
Attend any shift you have accepted. If you are cancelling a shift you need to follow the cancellations document. If you are sick you will have to provide evidence of this.
Let Suitsme know immediately if anything happens which may impact your ability to safely fulfill your role. Some examples are:
You are convicted of a crime
You become mentally or physically unwell
You are seriously physically injured
There is a change to your visa or right to work in Australia
You lodge a worker's compensation claim with another employer
You lose your license (if you provide transport to clients)
Never discriminate, bully, harass or victimise anyone in any way.
Never come to work if you’ve been taking drugs or alcohol. If you need help with a drug or alcohol problem, you can find support in the looking after yourself document.
Let us know if you are on medication that can affect your cognitive processing and provide evidence from a doctor that says you’re ok to work.
Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for Suitsme without permission from Suitsme’s Directors; this includes in the media and on social media. You are, however, welcome to contribute to Suitsme’s online community and make comments about Suitsme on social media.
Ensure the time you spend with clients reflects the roster in the app. If something happens and you need to stay longer or leave early you must record this in the app.
Never propose or accept any arrangement to provide supports to someone outside of Suitsme or the app.
Wear enclosed shoes and dress in neat, clean clothes that are appropriate for the activities you are doing that day. Consult with clients about what appropriate attire looks like to them and try to accommodate their requests where appropriate.
Conflict of interest:
You must not use work time for private gain. Some examples of private gain are:
Taking personal calls while on shift
Doing your own shopping while taking a client shopping
At work, your responsibilities are to the client and Suitsme. If you think there is a conflict of interest between the client and Suitsme please let us know by emailing email@example.com
If you identify any real or perceived conflict of interest between your interests and those of Suitsme or a client, inform your manager immediately.
Don’t accept gifts worth more than $20 from clients
Let your manager know if you get a gift worth less than $20 from a client
Any intellectual property generated by Suitsme employees belongs to Suitsme.
Maintaining your registration
Suitsme tracks your National Police Clearance (NPC) and Working With Children (WWC) (and your work rights if you are on a visa). We’ll remind you when they are a month away expiring and it’s your responsibility to send us a new one. Whilst NPCs don’t expire as such, we’ll ask you for a new one every three years.
If your NPC, WWC or work rights expire then we will email you to let you know, deactivate your profile and cancel any shifts you have been booked for until you provide current versions.
You also have a responsibility to inform Suitsme of any changes that may impact your ability to fulfill your role. These include any changes to your registration documents.
If you have been verified with only a receipt of application for a Working With Children Check, you must provide Suitsme with a copy of the WWC within 6 weeks of your start date. If you fail to do so, your profile will be deactivated.
How am I employed?
Suitsme employs workers under the Social, Community, Home care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 (SCHADS) (‘the Award’).
You are employed by Suitsme on a casual contract. Everyone starts as a casual because Suitsme believes clients should have choice about who supports them. Suitsme management don’t have the ability to assign you work, it’s all dependent on client’s choosing you. We therefore can’t guarantee you ongoing or regular work.
As a casual employee you will receive casual loading on top of the base rate indicated in your contract.
Can I move to a permanent part time or full time position?
Under the SCHADS award, Clause 10.5 you have the right to request conversion from casual to permanent under certain conditions. Suitsme also has obligations to you under Clause 10.5.
An employer must provide casual employees with a copy of the provisions of Clause 10.5 within the first 12 months of the employee’s first engagement to perform work. Suitsme does this by including it with your contract. The specific clauses are outlined here.
If you end up working regular shifts, then you can request to move to full-time or part time. All casual conversion requests must be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suitsme will respond within a 21-day time frame when deciding to refuse or approve a request. Each request for casual conversion is considered on a case by case basis, considering the factors set out in the award . Should you be refused, you will receive in writing the reason for the refusal based on the factors in the modern award.
Reasonable grounds of refusal may include where a significant adjustment to the casual employee’s hours of work are required for the employee to be engaged as a part-time or full time employee under the Award.
If accepted the employee will become a part-time or full time employee and the conversion will take effect from the start of the next pay cycle.
Suitsme will also review your casual employment each 6 months to ensure that employees who were engaged as casuals who end up working regular shift patterns have the opportunity to be offered permanent employment.
If you are on a permanent contract, you must provide enough availability that you can be booked for your contracted hours. If all your contracted hours are not booked in a fortnight then you are not entitled to decline a shift unless you have booked leave.
Suitsme does not have a probation period for support workers. You are hired on a casual basis and clients decide who they want supporting them. If you don’t meet clients’ expectations, then you won’t get shifts.
Under the Fair Work Act, there is a requirement that in order to make an unfair dismissal claim against an employer, a dismissed employee must have served a “minimum employment period” of six months.
How to get shifts
Can I work any shift I want to?
Almost. There are some rules. You should not accept a shift if:
It will result in more than 30 minutes travel directly from one client to another
The shift would put you over 10 hours work that day
The shift would put you over 76 hours in that fortnight
The shift would result in you working more than 5 hours straight without a 30 minute, unpaid meal break
The meal break is complicated. Basically, you have the right to have lunch at work and you have two options of how to do this:
You can take a 30 minute, unpaid break to ensure you won’t work more than 5 hours straight, OR
You can have lunch with a client as part of your shift (in which case you don’t take a break and you get paid while you have lunch). Obviously you can only do this if it works for the client.
It is your responsibility to manage this. If the app shows that you have worked more than 5 hours straight, Suitsme will assume that you had lunch with the client.
We are working on making the app smarter so that you only receive booking requests that you can accept. In the meantime we really appreciate your help in monitoring your own compliance with these rules.
Some visa’s restrict the number of hours you are allowed to work. E.g. if you are on a student visa you cannot work more than 40 hours in a fortnight when your study session is happening. If you are on a visa with restrictions:
It is your responsibility to ensure you do not work more hours than your Visa allows
If you violate the conditions of your visa we will report you to immigration. If you lose your work rights as a result, your employment will be terminated.
What is co-design?
Co-design means making something together.
At suitsme, it means we ask you to tell us about your experience and what you think. It's about you telling us what you want; because you know what’s best for you. It's also about us listening to your ideas and making changes based on what you tell us.
Some examples of co-design are:
Us asking you about what works for you in a service
Us asking you what you think of a new document
You meeting with us and our app developer to give ideas on how to build new features
You testing new features of the app and giving us feedback
How does co-design work?
It will probably be a little bit different each time we do co-design, depending on what we are asking you about, but there are some rules that we follow:
We’ll give you information about the topic we are co-designing
We can give this in a document or talk to you. We can also get it translated.
We’ll give you time to think about the information
If we ask you to come to a meeting, we will pay for you to get to the meeting
We’ll reimburse you for your time
We’ll respect what you say, so be honest and say what you think.
We’ll keep what you say private
We’ll tell you how we use your ideas
At the end, we’ll ask for your feedback on the co-design process
Who is involved in co-design?
Depending on what we are working on, we may involve:
Client’s family members, carers or advocates
How do workers get involved with co-design?
If you are interested in being part of a co-design process please let us know by emailing email@example.com. You can also follow us on social media where we will post open invitations to be part of co-design projects.
I gave Suitsme feedback, is that co-design?
Co-design sessions are always organised by Suitsme management and you will always be paid for these sessions.
If you contact Suitsme management to give unsolicited feedback, then this is not part of a co-design process and you won't be paid for any additional time outside scheduled shifts.
We encourage you to give this feedback either during shift time, or during supervision.
There are situations where Suitsme will deactivate a workers profile. Deactivating your profile does not mean you are no longer employed by Suitsme, that is managed through a separate process.
If we deactivate your profile, we will contact you to let you know:
We have deactivated your profile
If it is temporary or permanent
Why we deactivated it
We will also contact any clients who you had existing bookings with and let them know what has happened.
As you will see below, most of the time you are required to do something to get your profile reactivated. If you have not made contact with us to have your profile re-activated within 6 months from the date of deactivation, we will contact you to discuss your intentions and employment with Suitsme.
Why has my profile been deactivated?
We will contact you to let you know why your profile has been deactivated, however the main reasons we would deactivate your profile are:
If there is an allegation of poor performance or that you have breached Suitsme’s rules Suitsme may deactivate your account either temporarily or permanently.
More information on this is available in the People Development document
Lack of activity
If you don’t action two or more session requests in a one month period (either accept or reject them) We will deactivate your profile and email you to let you know. It is your responsibility to get back in touch with us and request that your profile be reactivated.
Your Verification Lapses
If anything changes which impacts your ability to safely deliver services (see Code of conduct and your contract) we will deactivate your profile until this is resolved.
If you have been verified with only a receipt of application for a Working With Children Check, you must provide Suitsme with a copy of the WWC within 6 weeks of your start date. If you fail to do so, your profile will be deactivated.
You ask us to
If you wish to set your availability to none (for example if you are going on holiday) you can contact Suitsme management and we will deactivate your profile. We do it this way so that you no longer appear when clients search for a worker. You can get in touch with us when you want to re-activate your profile.
Abandonment of Employment
For background to this section refer to deactivating profiles.
If you do not make contact with Suitsme management to have your profile re-activated within 6 months from the date of deactivation, we will contact you to discuss your intentions and employment with Suitsme.
Suitsme management will make reasonable efforts to contact you via email and phone over a period of 1 month. If you do not respond and make no attempt whatsoever to contact us, we will conclude that you have abandoned your employment and are deemed to have terminated the employment relationship. Suitsme management will email you to confirm that your contract of employment has been terminated and we will remove your profile from the system.
What does a support worker do?
The short version is you do what the client asks you to, within suitsme's policies.
The long version is the job description below
Job Description - Support Worker
You are responsible for providing support to clients to assist them to achieve the goals in their NDIS plan. All support you provide must be in accordance with the National Standards for Disability Services.
As a support worker you are accountable to the clients you support and to suitsme. Suitsme sets the frameworks which you must always follow. The framework includes the Code of conduct, Mission, Vision and Values and all suitsme documents.
Within suitsme’s framework:
Always behave in a professional caring manner
The client is your boss, they will give you general guidance on how to fulfil your duties.
You can use your initiative and judgement to problem solve. Guidance is available to you if you need it.
The client’s that you work with will explain your specific duties. All tasks should be completed with clients and not for clients wherever possible. Duties are likely to be in one of these areas:
Support clients to achieve their individual goals
Support clients to connect with their community
Support clients to develop and maintain relationships
Assistance with household tasks such as shopping, cooking, laundry
Assistance with daily living skills such as budgeting, paying bills, making and attending appointments
Assist people with their physical health and wellbeing; EG finding and attending a doctor, supporting with healthy eating, setting a positive example by not smoking with clients.
Supporting people to maintain their tenancy; cleaning, gardening
Completing administration tasks
Reporting incidents, risks, complaints and continuous improvements
Safety and Wellbeing
You are responsible for your own safety and wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of suitsme. You are required to:
Assess risks as they arise
Report risks and incidents to suitsme
Perform tasks within the scope of your role
Out of scope tasks include but are not limited to:
Engaging in an activity if there is a risk to your safety
Engaging in any activity which may cause reputational damage to yourself or suitsme
Any illegal activity
Providing any advice or service that is beyond your skills, knowledge or role such as: intervening to resolve a crisis, administering medication and providing medical or financial advice
Operating heavy machinery
If ever you are not sure as to whether a task is within the scope of your role, call suitsme for advice immediately.
Skills, experience and qualifications
Clients will determine the exact skills, experience and qualifications they require their workers to have. Suitsme encourages you to make this information clear to clients on your profile so they can make an informed decision.
Willingness and ability to work within and contribute to suitsme’s vision, mission and values
Basic digital literacy to use app, email and participate in digital community of practice
Ability to work independently
Good interpersonal and communication skills
Ability to model positive behaviours, life skills and coping mechanisms
Ability to work within the National Standards for Diability Services, NDIS Code of Conduct, NDIS Practice Standards and other relevant legislation.
Minimum requirements for all workers:
Resume with two referees who we can contact
Current National Police Clearance
Current Working with Children’s Check
NDIS Worker Orientation Module Certificate
Suitsme has insurance that covers workers for:
Suitsme’s insurance does not cover car insurance for workers or clients. Any worker using their own vehicle must have compulsory third party insurance and third party insurance. We recommend you also have comprehensive insurance.
If you’re not sure what all these insurances mean, have a look here for definitions. https://rac.com.au/car-motoring/info/car-insurance-quick-guide
It’s worth a call to your insurer to make sure you are covered for use of your vehicle for work purposes. Many personal insurance policies don’t cover work usage. Suitsme will not be held liable for damages or claims arising from the use of your vehicle for work purposes.
If you are the owner or driver of a vehicle in a crash, you must report it to ICWA Motor Injury Insurance Scheme as soon as practicable after the crash. See their website for more details on the process https://www.icwa.wa.gov.au/motor-injury-insurance.
A Suitsme worker, you should only be transporting clients in your own car if you have provided Suitsme with a copy of your driver’s license and you have the required insurance.
What development does suitsme offer?
Suitsme provides development resources that are intended to increase your knowledge in specific areas. For example, we have a resource on NDIS Review Processes.
We encourage clients to advise you if they would like you to access a specific development resource. If they do request this, you need to complete the training while on shift with that client. You will get the most out of the training if you and the client do it together so they can explain to your how the general information relates to their context.
The resources are also available for you to access for your own personal development; however, you won’t be paid to complete any training that is not mandated by Suitsme or a client.
Just like you, Suitsme is always trying to be better, so we often add new resources. We are always open to suggestions about what resources would be helpful to add next so please get in touch.
What other development opportunities are there?
Training is one way that we can learn, but there are lots of others.
Learning from clients:
Suitsme is your employer and you do have responsibilities to Suitsme, but in your day to day work the clients you work with are your bosses. Clients are experts in their own lives and in managing their own mental health – there is a lot they can teach you.
Clients can access all of the development resources that Suitsme offers. Suitsme also offers information specifically for clients s they can guide you on how they want to be supported.
Sometimes strategies that one client finds helpful will be helpful to other clients, sometimes not. The important thing is that you listen to clients so that you can learn from their expertise.
Learning from the Suitsme community:
Suitsme operates and drives a digital community of practice. This means that we encourage clients and staff to share stories and learning on our social media pages (as long as it fits with Suitsme’s privacy and confidentially policy).
Getting actively involved in the community of practice is a great way to share your learning and learn from others. It’s also a great way to connect with other Suitsme workers, share ideas and support each other.
Learning through feedback:
Suitsme monitors your performance based on key measures and feedback actively sought from clients. If we identify opportunities for development, we’ll contact you directly to discuss. You can also request support by contacting Suitsme management.
If you ever need a refresher on the basics at Suitsme you can check out the on-boarding videos here.
Reimagine provides some great resources that were co-designed by people from within LGBTIQ+ communities, with lived experience of mental health concerns, their carers and chosen supports. The resources on this hub give personal stories and experiences as well as advice on engaging with the NDIS.
QNADA provides this training that, although developed for clinicians of AOD services, is helpful for anyone.
MHPOD provided a wide range of modules. To access them, follow the link and sign up an account, it’s all free and you’ll get a certificate of completion for every unit you complete.
If you are looking to drive your own development, we recommend the following modules (in no particular order) as your first point of call:
The modules in this next block are all about specific conditions or situations. If you are working with a client who is experiencing one of these, you may find it useful to complete that module.
Then there’s a whole host of other modules which are all good, though some are probably more relevant than others.
WA Mental Health Commission
The Mental Health Commission provide a couple of resources that we recommend.
Follow this link to access these. You will need to register an account to access them.
Support for staff
What support do I get from Suitsme?
Once you've completed your registration with Suitsme and your profile has been activated, Suitsme management will contact you so that you know where to get help with any challenges you face while working at Suitsme.
You can call Suitsme management if:
You want to debrief after an incident
You are concerned about a client, but it is not an emergency (if it’s an emergency, call 000)
You need clarification or direction while on shift
You have read a Suitsme document and need clarification on it
You want take leave (permanent part-time and full-time staff only)
Suitsme document instructs you to contact Suitsme or Suitsme management
Suitsme management will contact you:
On a regular basis to check in (frequency depends on how many hours you work)
To pass on specific feedback from clients
Annually to do your performance review
If there are any concerns about your performance
After a serious or critical incident
What else does my Suitsme management do?
Suitsme managers are the go-to people for clients. Clients have a “help button” in the app, any time they push that it takes them through to a manager. Managers also check in with clients on a regular basis.
Suitsme managers do quality control such as:
Regular compliance reviews and audits
Checking content staff profiles
Reviewing cancellation rates
Reviewing content of staff/client chats
Monitoring client feedback in the app so Suitsme can respond quickly to any concerns
Monitoring staff safety rating and following up on any concerns
Investigating and following up any complaints or incidents
Suitsme managers also assist with on-boarding of staff and clients.
Will I ever see Suitsme management?
All going well, you might not see them in person. Suitsme is a big fan of technological solutions; they make us more efficient which means better value for clients. Therefore, we try to have all contact through phone, email, Facetime etc.
There are some occasions where an in-person meeting works best. These are generally HR processes such as performance management or dealing with a dispute or grievance.
Suitsme seeks to build familiarity between managers and workers through our digital community. We also look for opportunities to bring the Suitsme digital community together in real life. You may well meet Suitsme management face to face at a Suitsme event.
Performance reviews and performance management
Suitsme will complete a performance review with you each year within a month of your employment anniversary. In the performance review, you’ll receive feedback and give your reflections.
You shouldn’t be surprised about anything that comes up during your performance review. Any concerns about your performance will have been raised with you throughout the year and addressed at the time.
If there haven’t been any concerns with your performance, then you will move up an increment within your pay point (up to level 2.4 under the SCHADS award) each year. This will be applied (retrospectively where required) after your performance review.
Suitsme receives feedback on your performance from a variety of sources including from clients, from the public and from monitoring your performance within the app. If Suitsme has concerns about your (poor) performance, Suitsme will document the concerns and address them with you using a staged approach.
Stage 1 (may be skipped depending on the severity of the concerns)
Your supervisor will raise concerns with you informally
If the performance concerns are not resolved, then:
Suitsme management will schedule a meeting with you
You can bring a support person to this meeting
At least two Suitsme representatives will be in this meeting
The concerns will be clearly explained to you
The potential outcomes of continued poor performance will be explained to you
You will be given the opportunity to respond to the concerns, in the meeting, in writing or both
Suitsme will take notes of the meeting, we’ll send you a copy and save a copy on your file
Once you have responded to the performance concerns we’ll do one or more of the following:
Take no further action - if for example, you have provided reasonable explanation for the performance concerns
Put a performance improvement plan (PIP) place. This may include training, increased supervision and review of policies and procedures and will have clear timeframes for completion
A formal written warning
Stage 3 (if a PIP is put in place)
Your supervisor will schedule one or more meetings with you to review your performance in accordance with the requirements of the PIP
If Suitsme still have performance concerns:
Your PIP may be extended
You may be put on a second PIP
You may be given a formal written warning
If Suitsme continues to have concerns Suitsme may take disciplinary action against you up to and including termination of your employment
Director authorisation is required to terminate a staff member undergoing performance management.
It is your responsibility to understand your obligations under your contract, the code of conduct and Suitsme’s documents; and to ask for clarification if you are uncertain.
Serious misconduct occurs if you:
Cause serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation or profits of Suitsme or;
Deliberately behaves in a way that is inconsistent with your contract, the code of conduct or Suitsme’s documents
If there is an allegation of serious misconduct, Suitsme management will:
Investigate the matter fairly
Document the investigation
Keep you informed about the investigation
Advise you of the outcome of the investigation. Outcomes may include:
A formal warning
Termination of your employment
Depending on the nature of the allegation and at the discretion of Suitsme’s CEO Suitsme reserves the right to:
Suspend your profile
Inform you of the reason for the suspension
Cancel any booked shifts
Contact the clients who you work them and inform them of the suspension
If serious misconduct is substantiated it may justify summary dismissal. Summary dismissal means Suitsme terminates your employment without notice and you are entitled to be paid only up to the time of dismissal. Summary dismissal requires authorisation from a Suitsme’s Director.
If a client alleges that you have abused or neglected them or if the allegation of serious misconduct involves illegal activity, Suitsme will report this to the police for investigation. Your profile will be suspended until the police investigation is completed. Suitsme will also conduct its own investigation into the matter unless advised not to by the police.
Bullying and Harassment
This document is talking about bullying and harassment experienced by staff. If a staff member bullies of harasses a client, this is likely to be considered abuse and Suitsme will follow the abuse and neglect document
Everyone has the right to not be bullied or harassed at work.
What is bullying?
A worker is bullied at work if:
a person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards them or a group of workers
the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
Unreasonable behaviour includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening. Whether a behaviour is unreasonable can depend on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances.
Examples of bullying include:
teasing or practical jokes
pressuring someone to behave inappropriately
excluding someone from work-related events or
unreasonable work demands.
What isn't bullying?
Reasonable management action that's carried out in a reasonable way is not bullying.
An employer or manager can:
make decisions about poor performance
take disciplinary action
direct and control the way work is carried out.
Management action that isn't carried out in a reasonable way may be considered bullying.
What is harassment?
Harassment includes behaviour such as:
making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race or religion
asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including their sex life
telling insulting jokes about racial groups
sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails
unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours
How does Suitsme prevent and monitor bullying and harassment?
Information on bullying and harassment is included in the staff pre-employment video and client welcome pack. The pre-employment video also directs staff on what to do if it should occur.
Anyone at Suitsme who manages staff will be alert to the possibility of bullying and harassment and monitor behaviour to ensure it is not happening.
I’m a staff member, what do I do if I’m being bullied, harassed or discriminated against?
Given the independent nature of the work that most staff at Suitsme complete, it is unlikely that workplace bullying, or harassment will be able to occur. That said, Suitsme will take any allegation of bullying and harassment seriously.
If you are experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination, follow the dispute and grievance document.
If a staff member feels they are being bullied or harassed by a client, they should raise this with their supervisor immediately.
I’m a staff member, what if I see someone else being bullied, harassed or discriminated against?
Notify your supervisor. If your supervisor is involved then go to their manager and so on, all the way to Suitsme's Directors if required.
What does Suitsme do if bullying, harassment or discrimination are identified?
Suitsme management will investigate the allegation in accordance with the dispute and grievance process. Suitsme management are responsible to ensure the behaviour has stopped and continuous improvements are implemented. Perpetrators of bullying and harassment will be subject to performance management and may have their employment terminated.
We will always follow up with the employee subject to the behaviour, the employee who identified the behaviour and the perpetrator of the behaviour (if they are still employed by Suitme).
How is bullying and harassment different to discrimination?
Discrimination happens when there's 'adverse action'.
Adverse action includes firing or demoting someone because of a person's characteristics, like their race, religion or sex.
What is discrimination?
Unlawful discrimination is defined in the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. Discrimination refers to less favourable treatment than another person based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, pregnancy or marital status, age, disability, religion, sexual preference, trade union activity, or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.
Why does Suitsme ask staff to provide age and gender in their profile?
One of Suitsme’s values is “real client centricity”, part of this means clients choosing to work with someone who they click with. Some clients are looking for support from someone a similar age to them. We feel that it is fair for them to have this information when choosing a worker and that this practice supports social role valorisation. Some clients have support needs which require them to be supported by someone of a particular gender; this is often to protect the safety of the staff or the client.
Suitsme recruits based on the criteria listed under “Who is Suitsme looking for?”. Clients come from a broad cross-section of society and we are seeking a staffing group to match. We will never unlawfully discriminate in our recruitment, performance management or any other area.
Want to know more?
You can find more information on bullying and harassment and discrimination on the fairwork website.
Disputes and Grievances
A dispute is a disagreement, or a difference of opinion or interpretation between Suitsme and an employee regarding the terms of application of an employment award or agreement.
A grievance is a work related problem which an employee feels to be unfair, harsh, inequitable, discriminatory or a hindrance to their effective operation.
Disputes and grievances can be handled informally or formally. If it is being handled formally, this can be done internally or externally. Suitsme encourages disputes and grievances to be handled informally and internally wherever possible. Regardless of how a grievance of dispute is handled, Suitsme will respect the staff members privacy throughout the process.
Employees are encouraged to seek guidance from their manager, where appropriate, when looking to resolve a grievance. Options for resolving an issue informally may include:
Holding a private and informal discussion
Seeking advice from Suitsme management.
It is recognised that this approach does not necessarily resolve every issue, and an employee has the right to lodge a dispute or a grievance and seek a formal resolution
Formal Resolution – Internal
Employees must submit a formal grievance or dispute in writing to Suitsme management. If the issue relates to a Suitsme manager, then it should be submitted to a different Manager or a Director. It must contain:
Contain a concise statement of the facts;
Include copies of any relevant documents;
Indicate outcome desired.
The issue will be investigated by a manager. If the issue cannot be resolved through the investigation process, then the employee can appeal the decision and it will be reviewed by a different investigating manager.
The investigation, which may include relevant meetings and document collation, should be carried out within 14 days.
The response should be delivered to the employee in writing within 14 days of the investigation phase concluding. This will indicate whether the grievance is being upheld or not.
These timelines can be extended by the investigating manager as long as they inform all parties.
If the grievance or dispute is not upheld and the employee wishes to appeal the decision they must do so within 7 days.
An appeal investigation manager will be appointed and this process re-starts.
An appeal outcome cannot be appealed.
Formal resolution – External Process
If the issue cannot be resolved internally, the parties may refer to mediation by an independent mediator agreed by the parties.
If the parties do not agree to mediation, or mediation is unsuccessful, then:
A dispute will be formally referred to Fair Work Commission (FWC) / The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for arbitration.
A grievance cannot be formally referred to FWC for arbitration, and the aggrieved party will need to take action in the appropriate court or tribunal.
All parties should make every effort to ensure the dispute or grievance is handled without undue delay, in a conciliatory and effective manner.
At any stage, the parties may agree to revert to resolving the issue informally.
Our Privacy, Confidentiality and Consent Document applies to all personal and sensitive information collected, received, or held by Suitsme about clients, job applicants, volunteers, contractors, and employees (for purposes unrelated to their employment agreement).
What information do we collect?
We will always notify you either at the time or before we collect information. We will only collect information that is necessary for, or directly related to, Suitsme’s work. Where information is collected for research and /or evaluation purposes, additional consents will be sought. Personal information will be collected from the individual directly (or if information is received by referrals, the information will be checked with the client). In addition, staff will only collect sensitive information with the individual’s informed consent.
Consent and confidentiality are fundamental rights that must be available to all people accessing services. Staff obtain informed consent before collecting information, disclosing personal information, or providing services.
To provide informed consent, clients need to understand:
what services Suitsme can provide
conditions for accessing Suitsme’s services, including client rights and responsibilities
how personal information is managed by Suitsme
the extent and limits of client confidentiality
the right to change and withdraw consent at any time, and the consequences of withdrawing consent
When do we use or disclose personal information?
Personal information about an individual that is collected for one purpose (e.g., engagement in a Suitsme program, making a complaint, or a job application) must not be used or disclosed for another purpose (e.g., soliciting donations), except when the individual would reasonably expect it or when they provide consent.
Disclosure of personal information about an individual is permitted when:
there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s or other’s life, health, or safety;
the disclosure is authorised or required by law (please refer to Responding to Subpoenas and External Requests for Information); or
the disclosure relates to significant criminal behaviour, and is made to authorities with responsibility for dealing with such behaviour, and disclosure is not outweighed by other privacy principles;
When personal information is used or disclosed, in accordance with the above, a written note of the use or disclosure must be made in the individual’s record. Any staff member involved in making this disclosure will not make the decision to do so alone, but will liaise with their line manager, on-call or other senior staff member.
Access to personal information
Suitsme provides access to an individual’s personal information, on request, unless an exception applies. Suitsme must be satisfied that a request for personal information is made by the individual concerned, or by another person who is authorised to make a request on their behalf (e.g. a legal guardian or authorised agent).
All requests to access personal information will be responded to within 30 calendar days of receiving the request. If there is a delay for any reason, Suitsme must contact the individual to explain the delay and provide an expected timeframe for finalising the request.
In some cases, Suitsme may decline access to information as outlined in The Australian Privacy Principles. In these cases, Suitsme must provide the individual with a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal and the complaint mechanisms available to the individual.
How you can complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles
We are committed to protecting your privacy and upholding the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached the Australian Privacy Principles, please contact us with your concerns, using the contact details below.
We take all complaints very seriously and we will endeavour to respond to your complaint and address your concerns as soon as possible.
How you can provide feedback or comments on this policy
Privacy, confidentiality and informed consent
This document outlines how Suitsme manages personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, 13 Australian Privacy Principles, and Notifiable Data Breach Scheme.
This procedure applies to all personal and sensitive information collected, received, or held by Suitsme about clients, donors, job applicants, volunteers, contractors, and employees (for purposes unrelated to their employment agreement).
Confidentiality and Informed Consent
This procedure outlines the process of providing information for individuals about service options and disclosure of personal information, and the extent and limits of confidentiality, so they can make informed decisions in their interest.
Privacy - Australian Privacy Principles
The Privacy Act, which contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles, regulates how personal information must be managed to protect an individual’s privacy. Suitsme complies with these in the following ways.
Open and transparent management of personal information; Suitsme manages personal information in an open and transparent way by having:
Procedures and systems that enable compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles
A readily available Privacy Statement on Suitsme’s website, in client welcome packs that clearly outlines the kinds of information Suitsme collects, how we collect the information, and the purposes for collecting the information.
Anonymity and pseudonymity
Whenever it is lawful and practical, individuals must be given the option of not identifying themselves while dealing with Suitsme. Options for anonymity include using an alias.
Collection of personal information
Personal information is primarily collected via the App. There is limited scope for staff to collect personal information other than information input into the app by a client. Staff must only collect personal information that is necessary for, or directly related to, Suitsme’s work. Where information is collected for research and /or evaluation purposes additional consents will be sought. Personal information will be collected from the individual directly (or if information is received by referrals, the information will be checked with the client). In addition, staff will only collect sensitive information with the individual’s informed consent.
Unsolicited personal information
When Suitsme receives unsolicited personal information, the staff member who receives the information must decide whether the information is necessary for, or directly related to, Suitsme’s work. If the information could have been collected as part of Suitsme’s core work, the other privacy principles apply to that personal information. If the information couldn't have been collected under Suitsme’s normal work, then steps must be taken to either destroy the information or de-identify it so that it no longer contains personal information, unless the information is contained in a Commonwealth record.
Notification of the collection of personal information
Either at the time or before Suitsme collects information, staff must ensure that the individual is aware that Suitsme collects personal information about them. All client referral/assessments, recruitment advertisements, and Suitsme’s website must notify individuals that Suitsme collects personal information.
Use or disclosure of personal information
Personal information about an individual that is collected for one purpose (e.g. engagement with Suitsme, making a complaint, or a job application) must not be used or disclosed for another purpose (e.g., soliciting donations), except when the individual would reasonably expect it or when they provide consent. Disclosure of personal information about an individual is permitted when:
There is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s or other’s life, health, or safety
The disclosure is authorised or required by law
The disclosure relates to significant criminal behaviour, and is made to authorities with responsibility for dealing with such behaviour, and disclosure is not outweighed by other privacy principles
When personal information is used or disclosed, in accordance with the above, a written note of the use or disclosure must be made in the individual’s record. Any staff member involved in making this disclosure should not make the decision to do so alone, but should liaise with their line manager, on-call or other senior staff member.
Adoption, use, or disclosure of government-related identifiers
Suitsme uses government-related identifiers (e.g., driver license, passport) to confirm the identity of prospective employees. This personal information is handled in accordance with the other privacy principles.
Quality of personal information
Suitsme must take reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information it holds is accurate, up-to-date, and complete. Regular client file audits and personnel record checks assist Suitsme to meet this requirement.
All staff are responsible for updating the records they maintain to reflect changes. If some personal information is likely to change regularly, staff must check the records periodically to ensure that they are accurate, up-to-date, and complete.
Where a worker identifies client records that require update, they will request that the client updates this in the App. If this is not practicable, workers will report the record to their manager.
Security of personal information
Suitsme takes reasonable steps to protect personal information from:
Misuse, interference, and loss
Unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure.
Suitsme takes reasonable steps to de-identify or destroy personal information when:
It is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected and allowed to be used or disclosed
The information is not contained in a Commonwealth record
Suitsme is not legally required to retain the information.
To ensure the security of personal information:
Client and personnel records and other forms of personal information must only be accessed by authorised staff who require access for their duties.
Unauthorised access may result in termination of employment with suitme. It may constitute a Notifiable Data Breach that has legal implications.
All records containing personal information must be destroyed securely or de-identified in accordance with the Record Retention and Disposal Schedule
Access to personal information
Suitsme provides access to an individual’s personal information, on request, unless an exception applies (as outlined below)
Suitsme must be satisfied that a request for personal information is made by the individual concerned, or by another person who is authorised to make a request on their behalf (e.g. a legal guardian or authorised agent). If Suitsme gives access to the personal information of another person, this could constitute an unauthorised breach of privacy.
While in practice it is likely to be much quicker, Suitsme must respond to a request for access within 30 calendar days of receipt of the request. Suitsme must respond by giving access to the requested information, or by notifying refusal to give access. If there is a justifiable reason for delay (e.g. need to clarify scope of request, or to locate and assemble the requested information, or to consult a third party), Suitsme must contact the individual to explain the delay and provide an expected timeframe for finalising the request.
Exceptions to requests for access
The Australian Privacy Principles outline circumstances when a request for access can be declined, including when:
the information relates to a current or former employment relationship or the individual’s employee record;
the information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings between the organisation and the individual, and would not be accessible by the process of discovery in those proceedings
giving access would reveal the intentions of the organisation in relation to negotiations with the individual in such a way as to prejudice those negotiations
giving access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals
giving access would pose a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual, or to public health or public safety.
If a decision to refuse access is made, suitme must provide the individual with a written notice that sets out the reasons for the refusal and the complaint mechanisms available to the individual. The individual may have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner under the Privacy Act. After investigation, the Commissioner may determine that Suitsme failed to comply with Australian Privacy Principles and require that Suitsme give access.
Method of access
Suitsme must give access to personal information in the manner requested by the individual if it is reasonable and practical to do so. The manner of access may include by email, phone, in person, hard copy, or electronic record.
Correction of personal information
Suitsme must take reasonable steps to correct personal information it holds about an individual if the individual requests that it be corrected. When personal information is used or disclosed, staff may need to correct it before use or disclosure if it is satisfied the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant, or misleading.
Suitsme will only use or disclose an individual’s personal details for direct marketing when:
Suitsme collected the personal information directly from the individual and the individual would reasonably expect their personal information to be used or disclosed for direct marketing
the individual has consented to their personal information being used or disclosed for direct marketing or
it is impractical to get the individual’s consent to their personal information being used or disclosed for direct marketing
When Suitsme uses or discloses an individual’s personal information for direct marketing, Suitsme will:
Provide the individual with a simple means of opting out of future direct marketing communications
Give the individual information about how to opt out in each direct marketing communication (such as by including an obvious statement in the marketing material)
If requested, stop using or disclosing an individual’s personal information for direct marketing within 30 days of the individual making the request, and
If requested, tell the individual where you got their personal information from (unless this is not reasonable or practical). You must provide the individual with a response within a reasonable period of time – generally within 30 days of the request
Where Suitsme utilises a form of direct messaging (such as text or email) for direct marketing, Suitsme will ensure compliance with the Spam Act. This will include;
Obtaining the individual’s consent prior to sending
Clearly identifying Suitsme as the sender
Including a clear unsubscribe option
Cross-border disclosure of personal information
Suitsme does not disclose information to any overseas recipient
Privacy – data breaches
What is a data breach?
A data breach occurs when personal information held by Suitsme is lost or accessed or disclosed by an unauthorised person or in an unauthorised manner. A data breach may be caused by malicious action (by an external or internal party), human error, or a failure in information handling or security systems.
Examples of data breaches include:
Loss or theft of physical devices that contain personal information (e.g. laptops)
Unauthorised access to personal information by an employee
Inadvertent disclosure of personal information due to human error, e.g.an email sent to the wrong person
Disclosure of an individual’s personal information to a scammer, due to in adequate identity verification procedures
A data breach may result in serious harm to the individual whose personal information was breached. Examples of serious harm include:
Financial fraud including unauthorised credit card transactions or credit fraud
Identity theft causing financial loss or emotional and psychological harm
Physical harm or intimidation
What is a notifiable data breach?
The Notifiable Date Breach Scheme in Part IIIC of the Privacy Act requires Suitsme to notify affected individuals and the Privacy Commissioner when:
There is a data breach; and
The data breach is likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates; and
Suitsme has been unable to prevent the likely risk of serious harm with remedial action.
What to do if there is any breach of privacy or data breach
If any data breach occurs, it must be treated as a critical incident and escalated and investigated in accordance with Suitsme’s Risk Management process
The breach must be escalated to the CEO to ensure Suitsme can respond to the breach as required by the Privacy Act.
Consent and confidentiality are fundamental rights that must be available to all people accessing services. Suitsme obtains consent via the App before collecting information, disclosing personal information or providing services.
To provide informed consent, clients need to understand:
What services Suitsme can provide
Conditions for accessing Suitsme’s services, including client rights and responsibilities
How personal information is managed by Suitsme
The extent and limits of client confidentiality
The right to change and withdraw consent at any time, and
The consequences of withdrawing consent
Clients have a choice about whether to access Suitsme’s services. Without consent, Suitsme is not able to deliver services. Clients are encouraged to discuss with carers and other stakeholders prior to providing informed consent.
Clients must be provided with enough information to make an informed decision and must also be capable to do so. Capability to provide informed consent includes, for example, clients who do not have diminished capacity requiring a Guardian or Power of Attorney and must be over 18 years of age or assessed as a mature minor.
Consent for sharing information
Clients are provided with information about the how Suitsme manages information securely and the extent and limits of confidentiality.
Suitsme obtains written permission before any personal information is provided to or obtained from an external organisation, the public, a client’s carer or family member.
Extent and limits of client confidentiality
Clients are informed of the limits of confidentiality. Suitsme has a duty of care and in some cases a legal responsibility to inform relevant parties to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals and the public, as outlined under the Australian Privacy Principles
Mature minors and consent
Under the WA Mental Health Act 2014 a young person in Western Australia under the age of 18 years can be considered competent to provide their consent to be referred to and to participate in a mental health service.
The number of young people requiring such assessment by Suitsme is relatively small and the assessment, undertaken using the Gillick Principle, is considered a specific skill set. Suitsme recognise that to meet the requirements of all legislative and client expectations in this area, the assessment of a young person’s ability to make these decisions are largely subjective. Therefore, all such cases must be assessed and signed off by a manager.
In determining if a person aged 16 to 18 years of age can provide consent, managers need to consider:
The age of the child (anyone aged under 18 years is legally a child)
The child's history of making their own decisions
The length of time the child has been living independently (if applicable)
The child's cognitive functioning, i.e. presence or absence of any decision making or psychiatric impairment, or drug/alcohol use that may affect the child's ability to understand the implications/impact of decisions being made
The child's level of understanding of the matter and the likely consequences of any decisions made
What the child is consenting to (e.g. consenting to discuss their personal relationship problems versus to consenting to medical treatment or to live away from home).
Legal guardianship and consent
Some clients have an enduring power of attorney, enduring power of guardianship, or an administration order through the State Administrative Tribunal. Suitsme ask clients if this is the case on entry to a service, via the App.
If power of attorney or guardianship or administration order are identified, consent forms are required to be completed by the nominated guardian. Consent forms signed by clients on a Guardianship Order are not considered legal documents because the individual has been assessed as incapable of providing informed consent.
Information about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable. Common examples are an individual’s name, signature, address, telephone number, date of birth, medical records, bank account details, and opinion about the individual (e.g., notes in staff or client records).
A type of personal information that includes information about an individual’s race or ethnic origin, political opinions, memberships of a political association, professional or trade association or trade union, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, genetic or biometric information, health information, and criminal record.
The process for providing clear understandable information for individuals about service options and disclosure of information, so they can make decisions in their interest; obtaining permission before providing services or disclosing personal information; permission granted with full knowledge of possible risks and benefits.
The legal and ethical obligation not to disclose information to a third party when that information has been provided in confidence.
Information about an individual that the individual can reasonably expect not to be disclosed and which has not already been made public.