Supported Employment NDS
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In a comprehensive position paper titled “The Future of Wage Setting in Supported Employment,” NDS strategically addresses the ongoing discourse surrounding wage rates in the crucial sector. Reflecting a commitment to fairness and inclusion, NDS incorporates recent recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) and the Federal Government’s Guiding Principles for Supported Employment.

Developed collaboratively with the NDS Industry Vision Reference Group, including diverse stakeholders such as advocates, supported employees, providers, and sector experts, the position paper adeptly navigates the complexities of wage-setting considerations. Aligned with Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031, the paper advocates for creating opportunities that enable individuals with disabilities to experience the benefits of gainful employment.

What are the Key Proposals?

1. Full Award Wages for Supported Employees:

  • Recommends no less than full award wages for supported employees.
  • Proposes a social wage model integrating the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and wages from supported employment providers, supplemented by government support.

2. Financial Viability and Employee Well-being:

  • Commits to safeguarding employers’ financial viability to prevent adverse effects like reduced hours, job losses, or service closures.

3. Pensioner Work Bonus Extension:

  • Urges extending the Pensioner Work Bonus to individuals receiving DSP in paid employment, enhancing incentives and providing immediate wage boosts.

4. Recognition of Unique Value:

  • Advocates for recognizing the unique value of the supported employment sector, promoting modernization and financial sustainability.
  • Calls for acknowledgment and support of the work performed by supported employees through government and business procurement policies.

5. Inclusive Decision-Making:

  • Emphasizes co-design with supported employees and their families in shaping the future of their jobs.

6. Industry Transition and Recognition:

  • Encourages outcome payments to incentivize the transition of employees into mainstream settings, leveraging the expertise of supported employment providers.

Background and Next Steps:

The position paper aligns with critical factors, including the Fair Work Commission’s review of the SES Award 2020 and the Australian Government’s response to the DRC’s recommendations. It will be presented to Minister Shorten and Minister Rishworth for consideration as part of the government’s response to the DRC’s recommendations.

NDS reaffirms its commitment to fostering an inclusive and sustainable supported employment sector, ensuring the well-being of supported employees and the ongoing evolution of Australia’s disability support landscape.

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