Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Supporting older supported employees in retirement

The Australian Government will deliver $1.2 million to support older employees working in Australian Disability Enterprises transition into retirement.

Addressing the National Disability Services Employment Conference in Adelaide today, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas announced the new funding will support older supported employees who no longer want to work the opportunity to move into retirement.

Senator McLucas said the funding was part of the implementation of the Australian Government vision for supported employment.

Inclusive Employment 2012-2022: A Vision for Supported Employment outlines a significant change over the next decade in the way the Australian Government supports people with disability in employment, through an approach that focuses on giving employees more choice so they can get the assistance they want.

“Older employees with disability want to retire with dignity when their working lives are over,” Senator McLucas said.

“Our investment will deliver independent case management and enable older workers in Australian Disability Enterprises who no longer want to work or are nearing retirement to be supported closely as they consider a broad range of retirement options.”

“Up to 150 older workers with disability across Australia will be in a position to choose to retire into more age-appropriate activities. Australian Disability Enterprises will also be supported to build their capacity to help prepare supported employees for retirement.”

Australian Disability Enterprises are businesses, partly funded by the Australian Government, that employ around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability across Australia.

They provide products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, retail, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

The Gillard Government is working with Australian Disability Enterprises to prepare for reform in the way we deliver disability care and support.

“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will significantly change how we deliver disability care and support and we want all areas of the disability sector, including Australian Disability Enterprises, to be ready to make the change.” Senator McLucas said.

Today’s announcement follows on from the NDIS Readiness Fund, a support package delivered in June this year to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for an NDIS.