Joint Media Release with The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services
The Rudd Government will invest in a $6.8 million pilot program that will trial incentives to provide more jobs for people with disability.
The 2009-10 Budget provides funds for the pilot which is part of the Rudd Government’s National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy and is designed to encourage employers to provide jobs to people with disability.
The trial program will encourage employers to create more employment opportunities for people with disability and give Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients the chance to demonstrate their skills.
The pilot will begin on 1 March 2010 in line with the commencement of the Rudd Government’s reformed Disability Employment Services and will identify, recruit and prepare 1000 DSP recipients to find work.
Employers will be supported through wage subsidies of up to $3000 after the job seeker has remained in work for 26 weeks. Normal income taper rates will apply to DSP recipients who participate in the pilot.
More than ever during the global recession, the Government remains committed to supporting people with disability to find sustainable employment because work remains one of the most significant keys to social and economic inclusion.
The pilot follows changes introduced by the Rudd Government in September 2008 which provide DSP recipients access to Government employment services without jeopardising their pension.
Since the changes were introduced more than 10 000 DSP recipients have accessed employment services.
The Rudd Government is implementing new and improved $1.2 billion employment services for people with disability.
From 1 March 2010, existing caps on services will be removed and all job seekers with disability will have access to individually tailored employment services better suited to their needs, with stronger links to training and skills development.
Employers will also have greater support through a new Employment Assistance Fund which will provide broader access to workplace modifications and Auslan interpreting services.
The new services include an intermittent post-placement support option which will better support employees with episodic disability, including mental illness, in the workplace.