Department of Human Services

Restrictive practices legislation

Have your say

The Department of Human Services is consulting about draft legislation around restrictive practices.

We are talking to:

  • people with disability
  • their families and carers
  • NDIS providers
  • the disability sector.

Our aim is to strengthen safeguards for vulnerable people with disability to ensure restrictive practices – such as restraint and seclusion – are used only as a last resort and in accordance with individual behaviour support plans.

The consultation is underway and will end on 29 January 2021.

Feedback will inform the policy direction ahead of the proposed Bill’s introduction to Parliament early in the new year, and support the development of the regulations.

What are restrictive practices?

A restrictive practice is any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of a person with the primary purpose of protecting the person or others from harm.

In the past, restrictive practices were often a first response for people with behaviours of concern. It is now recognised that restrictive practices can present serious injury and human rights infringements.

What legislation is proposed?

The Disability Inclusion (Restrictive Practices) Amendment Bill 2020 will provide robust protection for NDIS participants of all ages. At the same time, it will allow NDIS providers to fulfil their duty of care to staff and ensure the participant is not at risk of harm to themselves or others.

The streamlined scheme will use a risk-based authorisation process where:

  • low-level, less intrusive restrictive practices may be authorised by an approved authorised officer within an NDIS provider
  • high-level, more intrusive restrictive practices can only be authorised by an authorised officer in the South Australian Department of Human Services.

A new restrictive practice authorisation unit within DHS will work with registered NDIS providers to educate them about appropriate processes and collect data on the use of restrictive practices in SA.

How your feedback can influence the decision

Your feedback will be considered and will inform the final policy direction ahead of the proposed Bill’s introduction to Parliament early in 2021. It will also be drawn upon to support the development of regulations, policy, planning, development frameworks and guidelines.

How to provide feedback

Join the online discussion at YourSAy

Closing date for feedback

Friday 29 January 2021 at 5.00 pm.

Contact us


Page last updated : 15 Dec 2020

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