Variation of Supported Employment Services Award — Update

United Voice, Health Services Union and National Peak Disability and Advocacy Organisations — Communique, Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Variation of Supported Employment Services Award — Update

On 23rd December 2013, United Voice and the Health Services Union made a joint application to the Fair Work Commission to vary the Supported Employment Services Award 2010.

This Award covers employees with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs, formerly known as Sheltered Workshops).

The application was made following the decision by the Full Federal Court in Nojin v Commonwealth which found that the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool used to determine wages unfairly discriminated against workers with intellectual disability.

The application also seeks to deal with the extent to which other Wage Assessment Tools listed in the Award are discriminatory against workers with disabilities.

On 20 June 2014 the full bench of the Fair Work Commission decided that in an effort to find a solution that there be a Conference of the parties led by Deputy President Booth.

There has been a series of meetings held at the Fair Work Commission since 1 September 2014. Conference proceedings are conducted as a confidential process and without prejudice basis.

On 16 February 2015 the parties agreed to conduct a study using the Supported Wage System with modification in a sample of ADEs. This will consider the impact of using historical productivity data on the productivity wage assessment rates of workers with disability. The parties will discuss the results of this study at the next scheduled meeting on Monday 27 April 2015.

For enquiries: Contact Leigh Svendsen, National Industrial Officer, Health Service Union, 02 8203 6066;


National Peak Disability and Advocacy Groups supporting the joint application and parties at the conference include — AED Legal Centre; Inclusion Australia (formerly the National Council on Intellectual Disability); and People with Disability Australia.

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