Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Tuesday, 08 August 2023 14:06

Restricted licences for disability support workers

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This is the first article in a series focussing on the specific requirements and considerations for different occupations. This article will examine some of the specific requirements that face NDIS and disability support workers and making applications for restricted licences.


Restricted licence types

Our office has written extensively work licences and hardship licences on our website. In short, the key differences are applicability;

  1. Work licence – a licence type that is only available if a person has committed a drug driving offence or a drink driving offence up to a BAC of .149;
  2. Hardship licence – a licence type that is available if a person is suspended due to the accumulation of demerit points and/or they have committed a high-speed offence (exceed speed limit by at least 40km/h).

There is NO restricted licence for people who have committed an unlicensed driving offence, including whilst demerit point suspended. It is critical if you are demerit point suspended and you require your licence to drive that you make an application for a hardship licence.

While the reason for needing a restricted licence is different between the two, the legal test for granting a licence is identical. It is a two stage test:

  1. Is on the balance of probabilities (50% or more) the applicant a fit and proper person with respect of the safety of other road users and the public generally; and
  2. Will the applicant suffer severe financial hardship by being deprived on the means of earning their livelihood?

There is an additional test with respect of Hardship licences for non-work related driving. This is not covered in this article, however has been covered in our previous article on hardship licences.


NDIS and Disability Support Workers

While NDIS and Disability Support Workers are subject to the same legal tests for each licence, particular attention needs to be paid to the specific and often unique requirements for Disability Support Workers when drafting an application for a restricted licence.

Workers are often self-employed, operating under an ABN and subcontract to companies to provide services. When this is the case, a copy of the ABN record is required to be exhibited to the application and affidavit. When a person is not self-employed, they require an affidavit signed by their employer or an authorised person in their company.

It is almost always a requirement that a NDIS or Disability Support Worker needs to carry clients and their families as passengers as a part of their employment. The relevant information regarding their duties and responsibilities, such as community access, transporting clients to medical and physiotherapy appoints will be detailed in the affidavit.

What stands out as unique, is that often there are very wide hours of availability required, ranging effectively up to 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In addition, workers are usually required at short notice. Whilst most courts are very hesitant to grant restricted licences for such a broad amount of time, it is possible provided sufficient information is given to the court.

It has been our experience that NDIS and Disability Support Workers require a very broad range of hours and conditions to ensure that they are able to keep their employment and effectively discharge their responsibilities.


Do I really need a lawyer?

Should you engage a traffic lawyer to represent you? In a word yes.  Although you are free to represent yourself we have found that unrepresented people are often not granted the application because their paperwork is defective or does not adequately cover all the requirements of the legislation.  Remember you get one shot at this, you cannot reapply if you are refused.  Our experience is that less than 50% of unrepresented people are granted a restricted licence.  

Common problems we have seen with people acting for themselves in seeking a restricted licences include;

  • Failing to have the court grant the licence for all hours you work
  • Failing to have the court grant the licence for all days you work
  • Failing to take into account the time you have to leave for work in the morning or return after work
  • Failing to have the licence issued for all the vehicle types you need to drive
  • Failing to have the order allow you to carry passengers
  • Failing to specify other occasions when you may be able to drive
  • Failing to prove to the court that you are a fit and proper person
  • Failing to show financial hardship as a result of not receiving the licence
  • Lodging a letter from an employer rather than an affidavit

Remember if you are unsuccessful with a hardship licence then you will not be able to drive at all for a minimum of 6 months. If you are unsuccessful with a work licence then you will be disqualified at the courts discretion.


Why engage Clarity Law and not another law firm?

We are Queensland’s leading traffic and driving law firm.  We undertake special hardship applications every week throughout South East Queensland. We know the Magistrates and what it takes to be successful in an application.  No other law firm in Queensland would have likely undertaken more restricted licence applications than Clarity Law.  We have made over 1,000 successful restricted licence applications and no firm can match our experience level.  We know what driving courses or workshops the Magistrate will want to see you attend and know how to put a person’s traffic history in the best light. We have acted extensively for NDIS and Disability Support Workers, and we know the unique requirements of these roles.


How do I get more help or engage you to act for me? 

We have been operating since 2010 and undertaken over 1,000 successful restricted licence applications throughout South East Queensland.

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to select a time for us to call you back

  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

We cover all courts in South East Queensland from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and out to Toowoomba.  We have 6 offices in South East Queensland to assist people. We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide information to assist you, if you want to engage us then great, if not then you at least have more information about restricted licences. You will not be chased or hounded to engage us.  Remember its critical you get advice before going to court, failing to get a restricted licence or one that is too restrictive will have an impact on you, your family and your employment or business.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 August 2023 17:08
Jack Marshall

Jack is a former soldier and now a traffic lawyer with Clarity Law.  Jack appears in courts throughout South East Queensland.

https://www.drivinglaw.com.au/about-us/our-team/281-jack-marshall.html | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.