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Wage Justice Campaign

Wage Justice Campaign

Posted by Phillip Camela.

In 2018 fair and equitable wage determination will remain one of the key strategic issues for Wage Justice Australia. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is reviewing the Supported Employment Services Award (SESA) which is the award under which supported employees working in ADEs have their wages assessed and set.  

AED Legal Centre, United Voice and the HSU have been arguing a case for better wages for supported employees working at ADEs at the 4 yearly award review by the FWC in Sydney. This has involved many of hours of hard work drafting documents and submissions in preparation for attendances at the hearings. Well done team and let's hope we get a good outcome!

Photo: Left to right - Kairsty Wilson (AED), Malcolm Harding (Barrister), Paul Cain (Inclusion Australia), Rachel Liebhaber (HSU), Courtney Davies (AED) and Samantha French (PWDA) at the Fair Work Commission.

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Wage Justice Campaign video

Wage Justice Campaign video

Posted by Phillip Camela.

WAGE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN VIDEO
This is a short YouTube video about the need for fair and equitable wages in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

Please Share with your friends and family.https://youtu.be/8vWaH15SaMk?t=1

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
AED turns 10 this year

AED turns 10 this year

Posted by Phillip Camela.

It seems just like yesterday but on July 1 this year AED will be 10 years old. 

In the months ahead the AED Committee, management, staff and volunteers will be given an opportunity to bring forward ideas on how we should celebrate this very important occasion.

Clients of the service will also be involved in this process as well as advocacy agencies we closely work with.

So stay tuned and watch this space!

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
The future of supported employment

The future of supported employment

Posted by Phillip Camela.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice have released a discussion paper on The future of supported employment.

More information about the discussion paper is available here: 

https://engage.dss.gov.au/the-future-of-supported-employment

Consultation period

7 December 2017 - 9:00 am to 9 March 2018 - 5:00 pm

The Department of Social Services is running eight half day workshops to consult with people with disability, the sector and other key stakeholders on the future of supported employment.

City Date Time
Hobart Wednesday 21 February 2018 10am – 2pm
Melbourne Thursday 22 February 2018 10am – 2pm
Sydney Tuesday 27 February 2018 10am – 2pm
Brisbane Thursday 1 March 2018 10am – 2pm
Adelaide Monday 5 March 2018 10am – 2pm
Perth Tuesday 6 March 2018 10am – 2pm

 

If you are interested in attending a workshop please Register your interest by 9 February 2018.

 

 

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Annual General Meeting 2016/17

Annual General Meeting 2016/17

Posted by Phillip Camela.

On Tuesday 17 October 2017 AED held its AGM at the Office of the Public Advocate.

During the meeting the Chairperson - Gaetano Ravida, Erwin Ng on behalf of the Treasurer Jeffrey Au and Legal Manager - Kairsty Wilson tabled their reports which were unanimously accepted.

One of the most remarkable facts about the 2016/17 financial year when compared to the 2015 /16 financial year, is that AED has significantly improved its financial position from a deficit of $ $26,050 to a surplus of $18,461. This very positive result has been achieved through the crisis intervention plan that the AED Committee took in January 2016 where employment expenses were curtailed as well as additional revenue due to funding for legal advice under the BSWAT Payment Scheme and the $117,000 grant to run the NDIS Appeals Program.

The Legal Manager - Kairsty Wilson said that  the 2016/17 financial year had been characterised by some very positive developments, including: diversification  and growth in service delivery, a significant improvement in AED's financial position, the employment of a Human Rights Lawyer and an upgrade of our IT infrastructure.

She added that: "Fair and equitable wage determination remains one of our key strategic issues. As well as individual casework we have worked on systemic projects requiring collaborative efforts and inputs on multiple fronts for the benefit of employees with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs)".

The new AED Committee for 2017-18 is made up of:
Gaetano Ravida - Chairperson
Kairsty Wilson - Secretary
Erwin Ng - Treasurer
Wendy Davies - Ordinary member
Stacy Mallis - Ordinary member
Nicole Williamson - Ordinary member
Chris Devine - Ordinary member
Jeffrey Au - Appointed member

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Employment terminated after disability disclosure

Employment terminated after disability disclosure

The client was the wife of and is the trustee and executor of the estate of a deceased 45 year old male who had been diagnosed with cancer. His work hours were reduced and employment eventually terminated after disclosing his cancer diagnosis to an employer he had been working for 17 years.  

The deceased had worked for his employer for 17 years, no issues ever being raised about his performance. After disclosing his diagnosis, his hours were drastically reduced and his employment eventually terminated several months later. The employer claimed that the deceased was unable to perform his daily work functions and posed a risk of danger to other staff. This contradicted a medical certificate issued at the time declaring that the deceased was fit for work.

With the support of AED, the client filed an anti-discrimination complaint to VCAT on behalf of the deceased, under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. The employer made a strike out application on the basis that the client did not have sufficient standing under the law to bring such a claim on behalf of another person. A hearing was held where barristers for both parties put forth arguments claiming that the client had or did not have, under relevant legislation, sufficient interest to make the complaint on the deceased’s behalf.

 Current legislation is unclear about the client’s position with regards to commencing her action. In such circumstances, Parliament’s intention in enacting the relevant legislation is considered. The VCAT member found that the objectives of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 include the ongoing improvement of society by the elimination of unlawful discrimination and that the client is not excluded from taking the present action against the deceased’s employer. The strike out application was therefore dismissed and matter is ongoing.

 

Kate back on the job after dismissal

Kate back on the job after dismissal

WHEN Kate Last was sacked she thought her world had ended.

The Parkville woman, who has an intellectual disability and short-term memory loss, worked for a disability service provider for four years before being dismissed.

Ms Last said the reason given for her dismissal was she had become a danger to other employees.

The 40-year-old was handed a letter of termination and escorted off the premises.

She said in her job she was required to undertake multi-tasking but due to her disability, she wasn’t able to understand new tasks that were only relayed verbally.

Her co-workers went on strike after learning why Ms Last wasn’t at work.

Ms Last said in the years that followed she lost a lot of weight and at times contemplated suicide.

Ms Last said because she felt she was wrongly done by she contacted the Association for Employees with a Disability Legal Centre to get her job back.

Two and a half years later and three days before a scheduled hearing at the Fair Work Commission she was reinstated.

Ms Last said when she learnt she could go back to work she was over the moon.

Dismissal in contravention of a general protection

Dismissal in contravention of a general protection

A 42 year old male with brain damage after an accident, as well as physical injuries including shoulder reconstruction and broken back and neck contacted ADE Legal Centre. 

The client was unpaid by his employer for substantial number of hours worked beyond his employment contract. He was also made to perform duties outside of the scope of the contract, subjected to treatment by the employer amounting to bullying and/or vilification and not provided with entitlements under his contract. The employer made rude and abusive comments about the client’s and his partner’s disabilities to other staff.

The matter was initially brought to the Fair Work Commission as a General Protections Application Involving Dismissal, under the Fair Work Act 2009. A conciliation was organised by the Commission but no settlement was reached.

The parties continued negotiating on their own but failed to reached agreement. The matter was subsequently filed at the Federal Circuit Court as a Claim under the Fair Work Act 2009 alleging dismissal in contravention of a general protection. A mediation was organised by the court in which the parties managed to reach a mutually agreeable settlement

The outcome of AED's intervention is that the parties agreed on terms of settlement after a mediation at the Federal Circuit Court.

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.

 

 

 

Strategic Planning Day

Strategic Planning Day

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our consultations for the development of a 3-year Strategic Plan.

Details are as follows: Saturday 23 February 2019, 9:00am - 4:00pm, Conference Room Office of the Public Advocate Level 1, 204 Lygon St, Carlton.

A Strategic Plan can be a helpful map of actions and activities so that an organisation can improve both itself and its services to clients. It is an opportunity to look at where AED is now as well as the challenges and opportunities that we may face in the future.

Please RSVP to Noni Lord on 9639 4333 or email noni.lord@aed.org.au by Thursday 20 February 2019. Please let us know if you have special dietary and/or support needs.

NDIS Appeals Flowchart

NDIS Appeals Flowchart

AED Legal Centre is currently providing assistance to NDIS participants who are seeking a review of an NDIS decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

For more information about this service please contact AED Legal Centre, Suite 4 Level 9, 276 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Ph:(03) 9639 4333 or email noni.lord@aed.org.au

(03) 9639 4333

Suite 4 Level 9
276 Flinders St
Melbourne 3000

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