Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Common sense prevails with passage of BSWAT payment scheme

Tonight common sense prevailed, with the successful passage of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) payment scheme Bills through the Senate.

The Coalition Government has persevered to deliver a BSWAT payment scheme that provides certainty for people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), their families and carers, as well as their employers.

The scheme will provide a fast and efficient one-off payment to employees of ADEs who have been paid a pro-rata wage assessed using the BSWAT.

Representative action in relation to BSWAT continues, and we respect the right of people with disability to pursue this avenue, but recognise this is a process with an uncertain outcome.

The payment scheme is putting another option on the table–a swift and transparent process in the form of a payment from the Government.

Choice and control rests firmly with the applicant.

The payment scheme is entirely voluntary, and participants are required to seek independent financial counselling and legal advice – paid for by the Commonwealth – to help them make an informed choice.

The Government is committed to ensuring supported employees, their families and employers have certainty about their future employment and that there is a continuum of employment options for people with disability.

The Australian Government is also committing $173 million to a separate process to help the supported employment sector work towards new wage arrangements for supported employees currently working in ADEs.

In addition, the Government announced a further $17 million in the 2015 Budget to assist eligible ADEs to access professional services to build business performance and sustainability.

The payment scheme will start receiving applications from 1 July.

Further information can be found at