People with an intellectual or multiple disability, very vulnerable people, are potentially at greater risk where their direct care staff are government employees. As government employees, public servants, have relatively and traditionally safe employment.
The following scenario, a true story, illustrates the difference between the public sector and the not for profit sector, in this regard.
A group of people with very high support-needs was taken in their group home bus, from their non-government, community service organisation , group home, to a beach around 20 Kilometres away.
The driver subsequently lost the vehicle keys on the beach. Neither of the two staff had a mobile phone. So the driver had to ask a nearby resident to use their telephone to call the group home for the spare set of keys.
Fortunately, there was a staff member at the house, but had no vehicle. So police were requested to help get the spare keys to the beach as quickly as possible.
Nevertheless, the group were not able to access their bus for over two hours. As a consequence, the staff member was instantly dismissed.
In total contrast, there have been many far more questionable occurrences than the beach incident, by staff in government direct care. At worst, these staff are moved sideways – moved to another house.
One of the main attractions of working for government, is safe and secure employment - almost no matter what the person does, or does not do.
All of this does not mean there are not a great many public sector staff with very good integrity and work ethics. What it shows is, those not in this category also have the luxury of safe employment.
This provides little incentive for good workers to continue being so. After all, why should people do it right, when others do not, and are not penalised