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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Legislation passed to pay half of backpay owed to Australian workers with intellectual disbaility

The Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Bill passed the Senate yesterday, immediately leading to further debate:

Government to restore half of intellectually disabled workers' back-pay on the condition they don't sue
Jane Shields, RN Breakfast (ABC Radio), 16th June 2015
How would you feel if you only got paid half of what you were owed for your work? That's the option now facing intellectually disabled workers employed at Australian Disability Enterprises. Late yesterday, the Senate passed a Government scheme that would restore half their back-pay - as long as they waive their right to sue ...

Justice delayed is justice denied for intellectually disabled workers (7m 47s audio file)
Matthew Dimmock, Eureka Street, 15 June 2015
Of all the vulnerable groups in Australia today, people with intellectual disability are surely up there with the most vulnerable and susceptible to abuse and exploitation.

For the most part they exist on the fringes of society, in the periphery of our consciousness. The reasons are structural and attitudinal, deeply rooted in a history of domination and condescension. And it is at play once again ...

We'll give you half: Senate's deal for underpaid intellectually disabled workers
Dan Harrison, Sydney Morning Herald, 15th June 2015
Intellectually disabled workers who were paid as little as $1 an hour will have to waive their right to make discrimination claims if they accept a government payment equivalent to 50 per cent of what they are owed.

Legislation to set up the scheme passed the Senate on Monday with the support of crossbench senators Nick Xenophon, Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm, John Madigan, Ricky Muir and Zhenya "Dio" Wang ...

Senate passes Bill that fails to properly address discrimination for people with disability in the workforce (media release)
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family, Ageing, Community & Disability Services, 15th June 2015
The Australian Greens are extremely disappointed that the recommitted Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Bill has passed the Senate, saying that it fails to address fundamental discrimination against people with disability.

The clear message from the people with disabilities and peak disability organisations was that this Bill should not have passed the Senate, it is such a shame that people with disability affected now have to choose between a lump sum or class action ...

Senator crossbenchers criticised over bill affecting underpaid intellectually disabled workers
Matthew Doran, ABC News online, 16th June 2015
Disability advocates have criticised Senate crossbenchers for supporting a Government bill that restricts the compensation and legal rights available to more than 10,000 underpaid intellectually disabled workers.

Some of the workers were paid as little as $1 per hour after being assessed for their eligibility to work under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) ...

Workers with Intellectual Disabilities Class Action - Maurice-Blackburn Lawyers

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