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We understand that having conversations around pricing with potential support workers can be stressful or uncomfortable for some clients.
Some clients may be uncertain about negotiating rates. They may not be able to decide if the quality of support matches what they are paying for it.
We have created this guide to help clients and support workers navigate these conversations so they can reach a shared understanding and build a long-term support relationship.
What is good support?
- Meets the needs of the person
- Helps them achieve their goals
- Builds their confidence and independence.
Support worker rates and what they mean
Hourly rates of independent support workers depend on the level of support, and their skills, qualifications and experience.
Independent support workers on Mable are self-employed, so they manage all aspects of their business on their own. These include:
- Tax, insurance and superannuation
- Holiday or sick leave
- Travel expenses
- Admin-related or business costs
That’s why hourly rates of independent support workers do not reflect their ‘take home’ rate.
In addition, support workers on Mable receive the agreed rate less 10%, as part of Mable’s platform fee.
Learn more about what an independent support worker is.
Before you negotiate rates
Before you start negotiating rates, it’s important to be clear about three things: your support needs, the type of support worker you want and what you can offer as a client.
Your support needs
- What do you need support for?
- Where and when do you need it?
- Is this a one-off need or ongoing?
- Shorter, less frequent shifts or longer, regular shifts?
- Think about how the support fits into your budget and if you are an NDIS participant, how it relates to the NDIS price limits.
The type of support worker you want
- Do you want them to have specialist experience for your support needs?
- Do they need to have specific qualifications?
- Is it important to you that they have past experience in providing similar support?
- Should they have the same interests or hobbies as you?
- What qualities are important to you (for example, cultural background, interests, personality traits)?
What can you offer?
- Think about your budget limitations. For example, if you can offer $45 per hour, you may find a support worker who has the qualifications but not the experience you want
- Do you offer a cancellation payment?
- Can you provide training to the support worker with a more senior worker from your team or buddy shifts?
- Are you able to offer flexible shifts?
- Are you able to provide access to your support plan?
All clients have the opportunity to negotiate rates with independent support workers on Mable, and mutually agree on rates.
Remember, support workers are keen to build long-term support relationships with clients too.
- Discuss whether the support you’re getting aligns with your needs and goals. If you are engaging support on behalf of someone, take their feedback too
- If you have budget limitations, make sure you mention these
- Take into account that Mable clients pay the agreed rate, plus 7.95% (Mable’s platform fee)
- Encourage open communication with the support worker. These conversations may be new to you, but they may also be new for the support worker
- Propose having regular conversations about how the support is working out for you, to avoid problems later
- Be respectful and reasonable.
After negotiating rates
Once you and your support worker have agreed on rates, the support worker should send you an updated service agreement for you to review and accept.
Only after you have accepted the agreement through the Mable platform, you should start receiving support.
The ultimate goal for both parties is to reach a shared understanding and outcome that recognises the support worker’s value and the mutual value of a long-term and successful relationship.
Benefits of booking and managing support through Mable
- Choice and control over who supports you, when and where they support you
- You mutually agree on rates with support workers
- You are safeguarded by Mable’s strict verification processes and a high-level suite of insurances arranged on behalf on all the support invoiced through the platform
- NDIS Registered Providers tend to have higher overheads. However, support workers on Mable are non-NDIS registered small businesses, and have the opportunity to charge a more cost-effective rate.
We hope this guide will help you to have a mutually beneficial and confident conversation with support workers about rates.