Independent Senator David Leyonhjelm has emerged as a strong supporter of ADEs. In an article titled 'Let's not price disabled people out of a job', he recently wrote in favour of pro rata wages for workers with disability in the Australian Financial Review.
The Senate passed the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payments Scheme Bill on 15 June 2015.
The passing of the Payments Scheme Bill is the result of concerted efforts by supporters of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to inform Senators who voted against the original passage of the Bill about the merits of the legislation and the critical issues facing ADEs. Consequently, several senators who previously opposed the Bill, supported it in the second vote.
Supported employees will soon have the option of accepting an offer under the BSWAT Payment Scheme as an alternative to engaging in a long and uncertain court action. The Payments Scheme will commence from 1 July 2015
Scores of businesses employing people with a disability could be forced to close and thousands could lose their jobs as a result of a legal ruling which found some workers had been discriminated against, employers say.
About 20,000 Australians work in disability enterprises, performing tasks in fields such as printing, packaging, gardening and hospitality.