News
and
Updates

CONGRATULATIONS ROLF SORENSEN

CONGRATULATIONS ROLF SORENSEN

Posted by Phillip Camela.

Our warmest congratulations to Rolf Sorensen for winning the 2016 Susan Crennan Award for his pro-bono work for over 10 years with the AED Legal Centre. We at AED can't thank Rolf enough for his help. The recognition and the award could not have gone to a nicer and more deserving person.

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
KAIRSTY WILSON WINS 2016 NATIONAL DISABILITY AWARD

KAIRSTY WILSON WINS 2016 NATIONAL DISABILITY AWARD

Posted by Phillip Camela.

AED's Principal Legal Practitioner Kairsty Wilson is the co-winner of this year's National Disability Award for the category Excellence in Justice and Rights Promotion.

She received the award at a dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House Canberra on 7 November 2016 from the Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services.

Congratulations to Kairsty for the recognition of her work, it is truly well deserved !

Picture: Kairsty during her acceptance speech

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
BSWAT PAYMENT SCHEME

BSWAT PAYMENT SCHEME

Posted by Phillip Camela.


AED Legal Centre has been notified by the Department of Social Services (DSS) that we have been approved to provide legal advice under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme (the scheme). Our details have been published on the DSS webpage and can be found at https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/programmes-services/for-people-with-disability/bswat-payment-scheme/register-of-legal-advisors-and-financial-counsellors-bswat-payment-scheme#legal-vic

We were contacted yesterday by one of our clients who said that he has accepted an offer of payment under the scheme.

This client did not seek legal advice and we are concerned that many employees will not be aware of their rights under the scheme.

So we ask you to spread the word to your colleagues as well as to refer your clients who have received an offer to us so that we can ensure they receive legal advice in relation to the payment.

If you have any questions about the process, please ring AED Legal Centre on 03 9639 4333 or email noni.lord@aed.org.au

 

Kind regards,

Kairsty Wilson

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
WHY AND HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE BSWAT PAYMENT SCHEME

WHY AND HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE BSWAT PAYMENT SCHEME

Posted by Phillip Camela.

Agreement has been reached with the Commonwealth to settle a representative action on behalf of a group of supported employees assessed under the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

Since early October 2015, the Commonwealth and employees legal representatives (Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, AED Legal Centre and Counsel) have participated in formal mediation to reach a settlement of the representative action. The representative action has settled on the grounds that the Commonwealth’s BSWAT Payment Scheme will increase to 70% of lost wages.

On 16 December 2015 the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Christian Porter MP, announced a change in the calculation of the payment amount under the BSWAT Payment Scheme. The Government intends to introduce a new law into Parliament in 2016 so that the payment will be increased to 70% rather than the current 50%.

AED Legal Centre and PWDA welcome the Commonwealth’s offer. We think this is a great outcome for all supported employees eligible for a payment under the BSWAT Payment Scheme.

AED Legal Centre and PWDA encourage all eligible employees to register under the BSWAT Payment Scheme.

Employees can register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme by:

• Visiting the website at: https://bswat.dss.gov.au/

• Phoning the BSWAT Hotline on 1800 880 052

• Emailing bswatpayments@dss.gov.au

• Phoning AED Legal Centre on (03) 9639 4333 - leave a message or email noni.lord@aed.org.au

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE THIS CHRISTMAS

GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE THIS CHRISTMAS

Posted by Phillip Camela.

This Christmas there will be people with disability who will lose their jobs. In 2014, Richard an AED client, was dignosed with cancer, lost his job and as a result his family home.

The Association of Employees with Disability Inc. (AED) is there to help and support people like Richard to get over their anxieties and fears and give them hope for a better future.

You can help us in this mission by giving AED a Christmas Gift.

To donate to AED please click this link: https://www.goodcompany.com.au/charity/Association-of-Employees-with-Disability-Inc

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - BSWAT CLASS ACTION

IMPORTANT UPDATE - BSWAT CLASS ACTION

Important Update on BSWAT Class Action
Maurice and Blackburn Lawyers,

The Class Action was made on behalf of supported employees with intellectual disability, who had their wages assessed using the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) between 1 January 2004 and 28 May 2014.
This is the last chance for class members to have a say about this important legal case. A special session of the Federal Court is being held, where the Judge is expected to make a decision abo...ut the settlement. Class members may attend the special session taking place on 12 December, at the Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building in Melbourne CBD.
Regardless of the outcome of the Class Action, supported employees with intellectual disability, affected by this case should still register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme.

If class members are happy to be involved in the case and they agree with the settlement, they are not required to do anything.

Class members who are not happy with the settlement, or do not want to be a part of the Class Action, you need to notify one of the following by 7 December 2016.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers:
T: 1800 654 990
The Federal Court of Australia:
T: 03 8600 3333

Failure to make reasonable adjustments for employee with disability cost employer over $170k

Failure to make reasonable adjustments for employee with disability cost employer over $170k

19 July 2015

Article by Louise Rumble and James True

Marque Lawyers

The Federal Circuit Court has ruled that Corrective Services NSW unlawfully discriminated against Caryn Huntley, an employee, who suffered from Crohn'sDisease and idiopathic hypersomnolanceby failing to make "reasonable adjustments".

While the Court found a number of flaws in Corrective Services NSW's handling of the medical condition and subsequent termination, it focussed on the employer's obligations around "reasonable adjustments". Suffering the disease and sleep disorder ("disabilities" for the purposes of disability discrimination legislation), Ms Huntley had provided medical evidence to the employer regarding her ability to perform her role which, relevantly, included some travel.

The Court found the employer had misinterpreted that evidence when it determined Ms Huntley should be medically retired because she was unable to travel for more than 30 minutes. On the contrary, that medical evidence asserted Ms Huntley could take trips greater than 30 minutes, so long as she was able to take a break along the way. A reasonable adjustment to make?

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (Act) provides that an employer will not have unlawfully discriminated against an employee if, because of the disability, the employee would be unable to carry out the inherent requirements of the job even if the employer made reasonable adjustments for that employee. Under the Act, an adjustment is reasonable unless making it would impose an unjustifiable hardship on the employer.

So, did Corrective Services NSW make reasonable adjustments? Basing its decision on the fact the employer had misinterpreted the medical evidence presented by Ms Huntley, had considered the condition an "illness" rather than a "disability" (the latter meaning the disability discrimination legislation was relevant) and subsequently terminated the employment, the Court said no.

Corrective Services NSW had failed to: consider the inherent requirements of the role; consider any reasonable adjustments that could be made to assist the employee to perform the inherent requirements; and implement those adjustments. Relevantly, the employer was ordered to pay compensation for pain and suffering and breach of contract to the tune of over $170k plus interest.

Lessons learned: employers ought to carefully consider whether an employee's illness or medical condition is a "disability" and, if so, take steps to comply with the obligations which arise from the disability discrimination legislation. A failure to do so could be costly.

We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're quite proud of it really.

 

 

 

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