June 15, 2015

The Abbott Government today passed legislation that will deny people with intellectual disability the right to pursue back pay against the Commonwealth through the courts.

The Government’s Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Bill will see people with disability prevented from exercising their right to pursue to back pay if they choose to be part of the Government’s Scheme.


Unfortunately, the Government was unwilling to accept Labor’s fair amendments.


These would have enabled those people who choose to participate in the Government’s BSWAT scheme to also continue to participate in a class action that protects their common law rights.


But the Government seems determined to rob vulnerable Australians of their legal rights.


Labor is deeply concerned about the impact this new legislation will have on workers with disability.


For months, people with disability have been calling on the Government to accept Labor’s amendments. Unfortunately the Government has ignored their pleas.


The BSWAT is one of several different tools used to assess the wages of people who work in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE’s).


The BSWAT was found to be discriminatory against people with intellectual disability by both the Federal and High Courts of Australia.


Labor remains steadfastly committed to seeing workers with disability receive fair pay for the work that they do.


The Abbott Government must immediately get on with the task of developing a new non-discriminatory wage assessment tool for thousands of workers with disability. 


MONDAY, 15 JUNE 2015


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