Senate chamberLabor and Greens block a payment scheme for people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises. The House of Representatives had earlier passed the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

Both Labor and the Greens joined together in the Senate to stall the establishment of the scheme by referring the Bills to a Committee with a reporting date on August 26. The Bill supported a payment scheme for employees of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) who have been paid a pro-rata wage assessed using the BSWAT and have experienced economic loss.

In a statement to F2L, Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, said the delay created uncertainty for people with disability working in ADEs and their families. “Longer term the government will develop a new wage assessment process for use by ADE,” Mr Andrews said.

“The payment scheme was due to start receiving registrations from July 1 however this date will now have to be set for later this year, pending the Committee’s report and passage of the legislation through the Senate.”

The government was committed to ensuring supported employees, their families and employers have certainty about their future employment with ADE, and will deliver the BSWAT payment scheme, “no matter what delaying tactics Labor and the Greens attempt.”

The scheme was established to provide payments to eligible supported employees with intellectual impairment working in an Australian Disability Enterprise between January 1, 2004 and May 28, 2014. It applies to those who have been paid wages assessed using BSWAT.

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