Abbott is pursuing this in the face of a decision by the Australian Human Rights Commission and a Federal Court judgement (upheld by the High Court) which found that these workers had been discriminated against with regard to wages paid.
What is occurring in Canberra is setting off alarm bells among families and carers, some of whom are hitting out at the Abbott Government's lack of consultation regarding the proposed legislation and at almost every group making submissions to the Fair Work Commission in Equal Remuneration Case 2013-14.
2. To choose to continue working in their current jobs, earning a fair wage consistent with their capacity. If the actions of the ideologues force closures, then our workers cannot choose what no longer exists, because more time is needed to develop an alternative wage tool.
United Voice, Health Services Union and National Peak Disability and Advocacy Organisations — Communique, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 Variation of Supported Employment Servces award.
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.