News
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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.
FWC DEPUTY PRESIDENT ANNA BOOTH RELEASES PUBLIC STATEMENT ON CONCILIATION PROCESS

FWC DEPUTY PRESIDENT ANNA BOOTH RELEASES PUBLIC STATEMENT ON CONCILIATION PROCESS

Posted by Phillip Camela.

STATEMENT

DEPUTY PRESIDENT BOOTH                          SYDNEY, 15 OCTOBER 2015

Progress in conciliation.

[1] In December 2013 United Voice and the Health Services Union made an application to the Fair Work Commission to vary the Supported Employment Services Award in relation to the setting of wages for employees in supported employment. These employees are employed in Australian Disability Enterprises.

[2] In June 2014 a Full Bench of Commission referred the application to conciliation before me.

[3] The parties represented in the conciliation include the unions, the ACTU, National

Disability Services (NDS), Australian Business Limited (ABL), disability advocacy representatives, Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) and representatives of parents and carers.

[4] These parties have attended conciliation, with the Department of Social Services observing, throughout 2014 and 2015.

[5] During conciliation and between sessions the parties have exchanged views and undertaken intensive research in an effort to reach agreement on matters  before the

[6] The parties agree that their shared objectives are:

a) A fair, equitable and non-discriminatory wage outcome to contribute to a living income for employees in supported employment;

b) Continued opportunity for employment in supported employment settings to build and maintain the self-esteem and sense of purpose of employees;

c) Sustainable employment opportunities in viable ADEs; and

d) To provide security and confidence to employees, parents and carers for the future.

[7] The parties are developing options, including modelling, to endeavour to meet these objectives.

[8] Conciliation will continue.

 

DEPUTY PRESIDENT

Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer

 

Phillip Camela Posted by Phillip Camela.
Personal attacks and threats against Ms Wilson

Personal attacks and threats against Ms Wilson

Posted by Phillip Camela.

Sadly, we must report that in the last month or so AED's Principal Solicitor Ms Wilson has been the subject of a vilification campaign made up of personal attacks as well as threats to AED's funding. The fact that this campaign was conducted via a series of unsolicited e-mails rather than by phone or face-to-face, from people unknown to us, speaks volume of their character and moral fibre.

The issue of employment and wage justice for people with disability is an important one and should be approached with maturity and intelligence. Personal attacks such as " I hope you will be able to sleep after causing so much misery to so many of the disabled"; " You are actively trying to destroy the life of my sister... "; "You are too concerned about being the hero to listen to your heart and hear about the devastation you are trying to wreak" or " there are 600 lives you are ruining" do little to further the debate, they are a reactionary and pathetic attempt at intimidation and bullying.

The subject of the emails is Ms Wilson's work on the wage assessment tool and more particularly the Greenacres Wage Assessment Tool. What seems to have precipitated the anger in certain quarters is the fact that an employee with a disability lodged a complaint of discrimination with the Australian Human Rights Commission against an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) that used the Greenacres Competency Based Assessment Tool.  This ADE was not Greenacres itself and yet it is Greenacres that is reacting.

It is worth to note that Greenacres Industries itself is an ADE and its CEO Mr Chris Christodoulou is a member of Group currently working with the Fair Work Commission to develop a new wage assessment tool for employees in ADEs. Ms Wilson is also a member of this group and as such her email address is available to group members. This email address however is restricted by confidentiality and not available to the general public.

Mr Christodoulou has been allegedly conducting a media campaign and has been reported as saying in the Illawarra Mercury12/5/14 that " Greenacres Industries would be forced to shut down leaving 240 disabled workers unemployed if a case to go before the Fair Work Commission is upheld ".

We believe there is little doubt about who leaked Ms. Wilson's email address and for what purpose it was given out.

There are a number of things in common to all the emails:

1. They are from parents or relatives of employees of Greenacres
2  They say Greenacres is a wonderful workplace
3. They say that wages are not that important 
4. They say that ADEs spend monies on providing support services
5. They say that Ms. Wilson does not understand the issues
6. They say that Ms Wilson does not represent them
7. They say or infer that government should not fund AED Legal Centre 

People can have their own viewpoints but there are matters of fact that need to be set straight for the record:

1. Ms Wilson has never said that ADEs provide " slave labour" and we challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

2. Ms Wilson has never said that ADEs should close down nor does she believe that they should close down. In her view ADEs provide an avenue for supported employment for people with disability who otherwise would not be able to participate in the labour market. 

3. ADEs receive each year more than $260 million from the Australian Government to provide the supports that employees with disabilities need to work in ADEs. So, these supports are funded by the Australian taxpayer and not the ADEs.

4. The Federal Government is providing to ADEs an additional sum of $173 million to pay for the development and implementation of a new wage assessment tool and to cover higher wages. In addition to that sum, the Government announced in the last budget an investment of $17 million on business development to improve the viability of ADEs. On the 25 August of this year the then Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield announced that " The Australian Government is delivering employment certainty for up to 20,000 people with disability by committing more than $650 million to Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) jobs over the next three years".  In light of this, talk of ADEs closing down and job losses are nothing more than scaremongering.

5. AED Legal Centre's  National Wage Justice Campaign is not funded by the Government or the Australian Tax Payer, rather, it is funded independently by other sources.

We will protest the leakage of Ms Wilson's email address to Vice President Booth from the Fair Work Commission in the strongest possible terms. We also would like to note that lawyers must always act on instruction from their clients. AED did not seek out a complaint against the Greenacres Competency Based Assessment Tool, we were contacted by a client who felt his/her wage was assessed in an unfair manner.

We will continue, undeterred, to represent people with disability who ask for our assistance.   

Phillip Camela                     Gaetano Ravida
General Manager                  Chairperson - AED Legal Centre

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.

 

 

 

STAR WARS 8 - The Last Jedi

STAR WARS 8 - The Last Jedi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence turns upside down when he meets Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. And Supreme Leader Snoke will likely tempt Rey to join him on the Dark side of the Force. But beyond being evil and having the unlikely name of “Snokeâ€, will we learn anything else about the guy?

Come and join us at the Kino Cinema and may THE FORCE be with you, always!

Tickets Adults $30 and Children $25 - include Small popcorn + ice cream stick + 600ml water/ small soft drink

All proceeds will go to support people with disability in getting access to the justice system.

The Kino Cinema is close to all forms of public transport.
Parking facilities on lower levels of 45 Collins Street, entry via Flinders Lane.

Book your tickets online now at :www.trybooking.com/SPHX

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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