Media Release by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Have your say on new Disability Employment Services

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Jane Prentice MP
    Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services

    • The Hon Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services
    • The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services

People with disability, employment service providers and employers of people with disability are encouraged to provide feedback on a discussion paper aimed at introducing an improved model of Disability Employment Services (DES) from 2018.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said potential options for reforms outlined in the discussion paper aim to increase the number of people with disability finding and keeping a job.

“The Coalition Government inherited a structure that has not been conducive to improving a situation where too many people with disability do not get to enjoy the social, emotional and financial benefits that work brings,” he said.

“Only 53 per cent of people with disability are participating in work, compared with 83 per cent of people without disability.

“DES plays an important role in helping Australians with disability break down the barriers to participating in the economy and there is an opportunity to improve DES to help more people stay in employment over the long-term.

“There are more than 180,000 people receiving DES services, but less than one third of people who exit DES after a period of support are in work three months later and it is time to look at ways to reform the system to improve lives through greater levels of employment.”

The discussion paper, New Disability Employment Services from 2018 is part of the Australian Government’s broader consultations with the disability community on the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach to disability employment.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, said the Australian Government is taking a collaborative approach and actively consulting with the disability community on the reforms.

“Now is the time to have your say on the future of DES. This is our chance to improve opportunities for employers and people with disability,” she said.

“I encourage you to provide us with your feedback at during the six week consultation period.

“Last year we launched the Disability Employment Taskforce to talk with people with disability, disability services providers and employers about supporting more people with disability into employment.

“This discussion paper builds on the findings from the Taskforce’s consultations and puts forward specific options for reforming DES with the aim of better engaging with employers and helping more DES participants make the transition to work.”

To have your say on the DES discussion paper, visit Consultations are open from 2 November 2016.