Media Release by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

One week to have your say on DES improvements

There is still time to have your say on the future of Disability Employment Services (DES), by providing a submission on the discussion paper, New Disability Employment Services from 2018.

The discussion paper outlines specific improvements to DES across five key areas, based on consultations with the Disability Employment Taskforce last year.

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, said the end of current contracts in March 2018 presents an opportunity for major reform for DES.

“Australia ranks 21 out of 29 OECD nations in the employment of people with disability and that is simply not good enough,” she said.

“The suggestions in the discussion paper aim to improve choice for people with disability by making it easier for participants to choose and change providers.”

“It is important the Australian Government receives feedback from people with disability, employers of people with disability and broader community.

“We have received 28 submissions so far, but there is still time to have your say.

“There are more than 180,000 people registered for DES, but less than one third of people are in work three months after a period of support.

“It is time to look at ways to reform the system.

“We are looking to highlight innovative and successful approaches to the inclusion of people with disability in the workforce, by trialling employer nominated initiatives, and improving communication with a wider range of employers.”

The Australian Government will continue to invest $800 million a year when the new model begins in March 2018, and feedback on the proposals in the discussion paper will help to form the new model.

To have your say, go to the DSS Engage website.

Submissions close on 16 December 2016.