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Individualised Funding:
Systems Not Service; People Not Process

My personal experience in the practical issues of setting up and managing my own support system.

Read my further reflections on Individualised Funding (July 2012) »

Read my submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into More Effective Social Services (June 2015) »

  • In 1995 I told my home-based support provider they could not meet my needs as a busy business owner and entertainer. Luckily for me - and relievedly for them – they agreed.
  • I then informed the Auckland NASC provider at the time and, after assuring them that I could manage my support myself, negotiated direct payments. I was one of the first people in NZ to do this.
  • Around ten years later I was one of a team of people who successfully tendered to establish NZ's first Individualised Funding Agency, Manawanui In Charge Ltd, where I chaired the Board during its start-up. I also became one of their first clients.
  • This page outlines the systems I have developed over more than 20 years to manage this unique employment relationship, including contracts, payroll, claiming IF expenditure, tracking staff time, and undertaking employer responsibilities such as induction, management and, when needed, dispute resolution.  
  • However these systems are not the most important aspect in making IF work for me. I prioritise recruitment, induction, management and transparent communication to create optimal retention and harmonious employment relations.

    IF systems I use


    1. Recruitment and Contracts

    Read my job ad and description »

    Read my interview questions »

    I use the Department of Labour's Employment agreement builder to create contracts.

    The Employment Agreement Builder “can help you to put together a draft employment agreement for your employee. It clearly shows you which clauses are compulsory, which clauses reflect minimum conditions that the employee is entitled to regardless of their inclusion in their employment agreement, and which clauses can be included voluntarily to meet the needs of you and your employee.”

    Cost: FREE

    2. Payroll

    I use SmartPayroll to pay my employees.

    SmartPayroll is an easy-to-use online payroll system. Based in New Zealand, Smart Payroll makes it simple to pay employees and contractors. 

    Cost: Includes set up, per payroll and per person fees


    3. Claiming IF funding

    I use Freshbooks to CLAIM EXPENSES FROM my IF PROVIDER.

    Freshbooks provides a fast and simple online service and will automatically email an expense claim through to your IF provider (some providers may insist you use their form). It keeps a record of all your claims for audit purposes. Here's a sample of an expense claim »

    Cost: FREE


    4. Timesheets

    I use Tick to record my employees’ hours.

    Tick is an intuitive, online time tracking application. It allows employees to log in, record hours worked and make notes. You can even choose to programme in tasks so you can keep a record of how people use their time. Tick allows you to generate reports and archives time records. You can also print weekly timesheets for you and your employees to sign off, should you choose.

    Cost: FREE


    5. Task management

    I used to use daily and occasional task lists to keep people on track and stop me having to micro-manage. I now use Basecamp, a really cool project management system which includes task lists, reminders, messaging and more.

    Cost: FREE for the lists – $99/month for Basecamp (first month free)


    The relationship

    6. Induction


    I’ve developed an induction session for new employees that includes information about me; the role; individualised funding; employment; health and safety; security; communication; responsibility for key areas; co-ordination; conflict and complaints; timesheets; payroll; roster and sickness; my quirks.