Disability groups divided over support for Australian disability enterprises

Disability groups are split on whether Labor’s plan to direct government contracts to disability enterprises is a good move, with critics of the plan saying people with disability in these jobs are paid as little as $1 an hour.

The move was welcomed by disability service provider peak body National Disability Services. CEO Chris Tanti said ADEs employed over 21,000 people with significant disability, who otherwise would be excluded from the workforce.

But advocacy group People With Disability Australia slammed Labor’s plan, arguing that people working in ADEs were paid very low wages, and less than 1 per cent of employees moved into mainstream employment. “Our advocacy for the rights of people with disability in ADEs is based on the situations of our members and the people with disability who come to us for support regarding the lack of genuine employment opportunities and unfair treatment, including inequitable wages in ADEs,” co-CEO Therese Sands told Pro Bono News.

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Luke Michael

Pro Bono News

Date published:
Fri 25th Jan, 2019