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What you need to know about completing your background check

Your home care Union and Australian Unity are in ongoing communication about the Background Check Policy for home care workers. We know this is a recurring and stressful issue for many members,.Thanks to the many members who stood up and spoke out, Australian Unity have been put on notice about their unreasonable and disrespectful requests! 

Members need to continue to speak up to fight for a fairer and reasonable background policy that respects and recognises the valuable work you do!

Until the current Australian Unity Background Check Policy has been reviewed, this is what you need to know:

  1. Clause 4.4 of the Australian Unity Home & Disability Services NSW Care Worker Enterprise Agreement 2019 (‘the Enterprise Agreement’) states that employees are required to undertake Police Checks and Working with Children Checks — however it does not require employees to undertake a financial background check or any other background check.
  2. This means that members do not have to use the Australian Unity Fit2Work provider to complete your Police Check — you can obtain your required check from a provider of your choice (i.e. Police Station or Australia Post). 
  3. If you do not obtain your Police check through Fit2Work, it must still be compliant with the requirements under the Aged Care Act (1997). It must:
    1. Be less than 12 months old
    2. Include the full name and date of birth of the applicants
    3. Include the date of issuing the certificate
    4. Include the reference number 
    5. Be from a recognised provider acceptable to Australian Unity 
  4. If members choose to undertake their Police check via Fit2Work, Australian Unity has agreed that workers will not be stood down if they do not complete the Anti-Money Laundering and/or Bankruptcy checks.
  5. If members have undertaken a self provided check that meets the requirements under the Aged Care Act (1997), Australian Unity have advised your Union that workers should not be stood down if they do not complete the Anti-Money Laundering and/or Bankruptcy checks via Fit2Work.

If you have met the above requirements yet you continue to get emails and communication from your branch that your background policy is not complete, these are the steps we recommend to take:

  1. Email the branch manager a copy of this information provided by your union and request they discuss further with Australian Unity HR persons.
  2. Report the rejection of your background check via UnionSmart app – download the app here (NOTE: if for some reason you have been stood down or need urgent help contact the member rights centre immediately on 1800 805 027) 
  3. Share your Fit2Work story on our member page It’s Time to Care – as it may be used in a Fair Work Commission dispute if Australian Unity do not come to the table with members

Your home care union organisers will be keeping members up to date with progress and ensure that your delegates are consulted in the review of a new fairer and reasonable policy that respects and recognises care workers.

Members need to continue to speak up and push back on these checks and those care workers affected not yet in their union need to join with us to ensure we can resolve this issue once and for all!