Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

$173 Million to Support Employees in Australian Disability Enterprises

The Australian Government today announced $173 million to help the supported employment sector work towards new wage arrangements for supported employees currently working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

This follows the suspension of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in December 2012.

The funding will be used in part to develop and implement a new productivity based wage tool (including new assessments) for use across the supported employment sector.

The funding will also assist ADEs with the additional wage costs associated with the suspension of BSWAT.

The development of the productivity based assessment tool will lead to the phasing out of BSWAT.

The Government is committed to assisting the supported employment sector make the transition in a careful and methodical way.

Over the next few years, these businesses will need to evolve and become more robust. The Government is committed to supporting ADEs as they make these changes and face possible additional costs from applying a new wage tool.

Work on developing the new tool will commence shortly, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including employers and unions.

This funding follows the Government’s introduction of legislation into Parliament establishing the BSWAT Payment Scheme.

The payment scheme is being established to provide payments to employees in ADEs with intellectual disability who have had their wages assessed using the BSWAT.

Further details regarding the scheme will be available at