Wednesday, 15 January 2014

First news of new payment for people working in Australian Disability Enterprises, and PWD's response

Payment scheme for workers assessed under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool

Joint Media Release: Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield,Assistant Minister for Social Services and The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services, 15th January 2014
The Australian Government will establish a payment scheme for supported employees with intellectual disability in Australian Disability Enterprises who previously had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT). 
The scheme will deliver certainty for these employees, their families and carers, as well as their employers, while the implications of the BSWAT court decisions are worked through. 
The establishment of the scheme follows the outcome of the recent Federal Court case brought by Mr Nojin and Mr Prior. 
Longer term, the Australian Government will develop a new wage assessment process.
The Australian Government’s priority is to ensure minimal disruption to the employment of these supported employees. 
We want to assure people with disability, their families and carers that the Australian Government remains committed to ensuring supported employees have certainty about their future employment within Australian Disability Enterprises. 
Employees with intellectual disability, who have worked in an Australian Disability Enterprise at the Grade 1 or 2 Level, have been paid a pro-rata wage assessed using the BSWAT and have experienced economic loss, will be eligable to register for the scheme from 1 July 2014. 
The Australian Government will provide more information about eligibility and other details as the scheme is developed. 
Further information on the scheme is available by calling 1800 880 052 or by visiting www.dss.gov.au/bswat/PaymentScheme
Further information for media can be found at www.dss.gov.au/bswat/media.
Further information released on 15th January 2014:
People with Disability Australia has responded to the announcement:
... “While today’s announcement is a welcome recognition of the detrimental impact of the BSWAT wage assessment tool on the lives of people with intellectual disability, the scheme does not address the discriminatory impact of the continued use of the BSWAT in ADEs. Broad reform of this sector is urgently required to end use of the BSWAT, transition to the Supported Wage System, and to provide genuine employment support to people with disability to move in to open employment.”
“PWDA looks forward to a thorough consultation process on the need for these reforms, as well as on the details of the scheme. Any engagement process must include workers with disability in ADE’s and their representative organisations.” ... read the full text of PWD's response here

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