Mutual organisation Australian Unity has signed an agreement with the NSW Government to accept the transfer of the Home Care Service of NSW in a $114 million deal due to be finalised by early 2016.

Derek McMillan, CEO, Australian Unity Retirement Living.
Derek McMillan, CEO, Australian Unity Retirement Living.

Under the agreement, staff and clients will transfer to Australian Unity and Australian Unity will continue to provide all services.

The Home Care Service of NSW is one of the largest home care providers in the country, with a 70 per cent market share in NSW for domestic assistance and personal care.

The 70-year old Home Care Service had revenues of $234 million last financial year, and its 4,000 employees provided services to over 51,800 clients.

Derek McMillan, the company’s senior executive with responsibility for the area, said Australian Unity would not only honour the requirement of the NSW government for continuity of service of the Home Care operations, but also seek to provide increased levels of care as clients’ needs change.

“We see the extensive range of services as one of the key benefits we bring to clients of Home Care.”

Australian Unity said the service’s Aboriginal Home Care unit would retain “its important and unique identity” delivering culturally appropriate services across NSW.

Australian Unity is a mutual company with no external shareholders and with customers and staff as its members. It reinvests profits into expanding services, it said.

United Voice said it welcomed the certainty provided by today’s announcement and the decision to sell the service as a single entity to Australian Unity.

“Today’s announcement is a sigh of relief to thousands of workers across the state and thousands of clients and their families knowing that the future of home care will be with Australian Unity. Home care workers look forward to working constructively with Australian Unity to ensure the best quality of care for all clients,” said Mel Gatfield, assistant secretary of United Voice.

Under the agreement, Home Care staff will transfer to Australian Unity with their existing employment terms and conditions.

Last year, Australian Unity acquired INS Health Care in NSW, the home care division of The INS Group.

Related coverage: Service provision fears ahead of NSW privatisation 

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6 Comments

  1. As an employee of the Home Care Service of NSW for 30 years I have been through many changes but none as big and widespread as this – I am very optimistic that Australian Unity will be a breath of fresh air in what I hope will be an exciting and interesting transition! Looking forward to being part of a successful future for community services our staff and clients!

  2. The article states “…staff and clients will transfer to Australian Unity…” which I see is a “mutual company with no external shareholders and with customers and staff as its members.” As an outsider, I’d like to ask exatly what this means in terms of job security for existing Home Care staff, wages and conditions and what it means for clients (now customers, it seems).

  3. Well, I cannot say I am feeling their words ring true. I am client of an Aboriginal Home Care Service which they purchased, and the very first thing they did was cancel the Christmas Yarn-Up, our client-funded get together. Yarn-ups are not only an important information hub for us, but a way for the elders to enjoy social inclusion and have respect shown to them during the day from young dancers and so forth, while being assisted by their carers.

    I want to be cared for as a disabled Aboriginal woman, with family too distant to help, not milked for a profit, like an aphid. Telling us, no, nothing will change but truth is it will all be done “how we tell you”. Unity seems to have missed the point of why we choose a culturally distinct service or what we need. Letters are sent – some to people that cannot read – hot air, not listening to us, the bread and the butter, after all.
    We are worried for our carers – if they don’t let disabled people have a yarn-up at Christmas on their own coin, they must be hard on staff I’d say.

  4. Stop complaining Kerri. You’re the consumer and you care is being directed.

    You obviously dont understand how this new system works.

    Now sit down and do as you’re told.

  5. Since the Australian Unity Home Care Service Pty. Ltd. bought Home Care Service from the N.S.W. GOVERNMENT i have not received an account statement correct. what is wrong with this company??

  6. I have worked with homecare 17 years! 5 years in MT Druitt! Company was family (Koorie) but with a twist every races was my roster respected. Work with homecare Nambucca heads 12 years! Clients and staff had problems with things was slowly done but was done.
    NOW I AM CONFUSED as a care worker and CLIENTS ARE CONFUSED TOO

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