Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for workers with disability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP
    Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
    Minister for Disability Reform

  • Amanda Rishworth MP
    Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

The Australian Government will inject an extra $4 million into Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to support them as they move toward our vision for supported employment.

The vision outlines significant changes over the next decade to the way we support people with disability in employment and focuses on giving employees more choice while still receiving the support they need.

This additional funding builds on the $2.75 million investment announced earlier this year and supports the Inclusive Employment 2012 – 2022, A Vision for Supported Employment which the Australian Government released in May last year.

This additional funding will allow ADEs to access expert advice, including developing strategies to help them navigate a changing industrial landscape following the outcome of recent decisions by the courts relating to the Business Services Wages Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

The Australian Government will make a one-off payment of $15,000 to all 194 ADE organisations to access industrial relations advice and prepare for the introduction of new disability standards which come into effect later this year.

The new standards will help ensure that the more than 20,000 people with disability employed by ADEs can expect the same level and quality of service regardless of their location or organisation.

We will also provide $400,000 for Social Ventures Australia to deliver practical training and assistance to eligible ADEs to help them build viable and sustainable business models.

Eligible businesses will work with expert mentors to develop plans to move into the social enterprise or social firm areas and transition towards more integrated workplaces, which employ people with and without disability.

Our investment also includes $750,000 for workers with disability to access independent case management and retirement planning to help them transition to retirement.

This might include social activities or non-work related pastimes such as accessing community gardens or undertaking volunteer work and will help address the age-related issues with workers with disability planning for their retirement.

ADEs employ people with moderate to severe disability, providing products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, retail, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

This brings the total investment in delivering the vision this financial year to almost $8 million and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting the role of ADEs and promoting workforce participation for all Australians who want the opportunity to work.