Friday, May 20, 2022

Category: Opinion

NDIS Participants Unable to Access House Cleaning Services

A recent news article in Fairfax newspapers discussed a nationwide shortage of domestic cleaners due to the coronavirus pandemic. The labour shortage is indirectly impacting busy families who employ cleaners to help with domestic chores; and, more significantly, is causing genuine hardship for “vulnerable people who have funding for NDIS cleaning services, aged care or workers compensation packages.”

The article contains interviews with house cleaning business owners who have struggled to find staff. The recruitment problem is partly due to low wages, but also due to labour shortages caused by border closures — a lot of cleaning staff have traditionally been international students or backpackers on working holiday visas, however those people have not been allowed to enter Australia during the pandemic.

A reader’s comment on the article also suggests that outdoor home services like mowing and gardening have had trouble with staff shortages. However, a quick search online finds that there are other businesses providing services such as NDIS gutter cleaning services and residential window cleaning that do not appear to be impacted.

A government spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs who was interviewed in the article said that the department is “clearing the backlog in applications” from international students and backpackers to enter the country. But that statement sounds like hot air for the businesses experiencing staff shortages, and for the NDIS participants who are suffering because they cannot access important cleaning services.  Does anyone seriously think that international students and backpackers who have been locked out of Australia for 2 years are going to take up low-paid cleaning jobs as soon as they are allowed to enter the country? Or are they more likely to do what they are entering the country to do, i.e. start studying or go backpacking?

Let’s hope that all NDIS participants across Australia are able to access affordable and reliable cleaning services again soon.

Labour shortages are impacting NDIS participants in need of house cleaning services

 

Zoned Out: How Land Use Restrictions Divide The Nation

Housing policies ensure continual wealth gains for current home owners while leaving renters and potential buyers locked out of the market.

Housing policy is a battle between the haves and the have-nots. The haves are the current generation of wealthy home owners. They have enjoyed large capital gains over the past few decades and are sitting on property worth hundreds of thousands – often millions – of dollars. They support the policies that have delivered these windfalls.

The have-nots are renters and future generations of potential home owners. These groups are disproportionately young and on lower incomes.

Read the full article on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations

The Government Can Build Quality Housing for Everyone

Today, only socialists seem to advocate for high-quality, affordable public housing. In the mid-twentieth century, however, a state government led by South Australia’s Liberal and Country League (LCL) developed one of the world’s most remarkable public housing agencies, the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT).

The government of South Australia (SA) established the SAHT in 1936. Over the course of its life, it built 122,000 high-quality homes for hundreds of thousands of workers. The SAHT was a product of a different era in the history of capitalism. SA’s need to industrialize, combined with high rates of economic growth, and a strong and organized working class, created the conditions for a pact between industrial capital and the state.

Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons

Runaway Land Prices Undermine Housing Utility

Australia’s runaway land prices are akin to a national emergency. An increase of $4 trillion in just the next five years is highly likely.

While meeting the weekly housing payment is our most essential financial commitment, why isn’t housing affordability the most pressing policy issue?

Land price inflation of $600 billion this year will equate to 30 times the size of total banking profits. But our politicians barely raise a sweat over it. One could joke that the only time we hear of a land price crisis is when a wealthy campaign contributor wants their land rezoned.

4 key leadership skills for a post-COVID-19 workplace

Many organisations have realised the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely, and as a result, some of the global workforce may never return to the office. According to the PwC US Pulse Survey, 54% of CFOs indicated that their companies plan to make remote work a permanent option. That means managers may soon have to figure out the best way to manage teams that are partially remote.

Many of the traits that have always been important for managers — empathy, clarity, authenticity, and agility — are even more crucial during this time of uncertainty and upheaval. Leaders have been challenged to maintain connection and a sense of belonging within their teams even when they cannot be in the same room together. As leaders begin to stage the return to work, they have an opportunity to leverage new insights and advancements developed during the past several months to reimagine the workplace, rather than attempting a return to business as usual.

“We certainly don’t want to just snap back to the way we were before,” said Karen O’Duil, FCMA, CGMA, financial controller at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. “We want to build on this level of flexibility that accommodates everybody.”

My work-life boundary is totally eviscerated—but it’s also what’s kept me sane

Zoom call. Zoom call. Zoom call. Bathroom break. Bite to eat. Zoom call. Teams call. Then it’s a dash of real work, then open the door to my office for a breath of air. From there, it’s time to prepare for the next round of chaos: Two energetic toddlers, an equally tired-out wife, and an attention-seeking small dog. After preparing dinner, it’s a whirlwind two-hour rodeo of baths, books, and bedtime wrangling.

Of course, I’m unrealistically compartmentalizing what working from home during the pandemic is really like. But this is a reasonable enough approximation.