Disability Employment Consultation
To whom it may concern,
I apologise for the informal nature of this communication. Unfortunately, implementation of the new infrastructure and staff to accommodate the recently reallocated DES business has slowed our response.
I would be more than happy to discuss any of the points below at your convenience. We appreciate the enormity of the task you have at ahnd and would welcome the opportunity to assist in any way possible.
Points of Concern:
• User choice is incompatible with MOR. Participants who do not wish to work will opt for poor providers.
• Existing Business footprints may not be viable and/or appropriate in a market driven model. DSS will have less penetration into certain markets
• Industry specialisation is not a workable model. Many participants’ abilities, aspirations and expectations change as they progress through the program. A truly individualised service cannot be subject to constraints imposed by a provider’s specialisation.
• Departmental staff are unaware of the realities of service delivery. Exposure to the industry must be increased significantly. A scheme similar to community service leave could be used
• Career development in DES Participants can be incentivised. While this represents a cost it would increase job retention and prevent the “revolving door’’ issues some providers face.
• The initial assessment that determines entry into DES should be delivered by a specialist in the field of the primary disability, e.g. mental health assessed by a psychologist
• Recognition of performance prior to Job Placement (e.g. Barrier intervention, Retraining etc possibly though a tool similar to the IMT).
• Increase in Governmental marketing to employers to educate around benefits of employing people with disabilities
• Better incentives that will scale appropriately with business size, for example tax breaks, workcover levy etc.
• Mobility Allowance and similar payments should not be connected to participation in DES
• Program of Support – This measure is counterintuitive for the purpose and outcome of DES. Participants are required to participate in DES to prove that they cannot work for a minimum of 8 hours p/week.
• Australian Job Search – participants in DES are not eligible to apply for jobactive positions posted on AJS and therefore there is a disincentive for encouraging participants to utilise this. It is well set up and with the new jobsearch requirements it would be beneficial for DES participants to be eligible to apply for these positions.
• Strengthen information sharing and complementary servicing with DES and DHS. LCTW and wraparound helped improve relationships and overall quality of service for both providers and DHS and similar programs should be investigated further.
• ‘WBPA-like’ workplace support could be covered by NDIS for those who are eligible; could DES be able to offer something similar for non-personal assistance. (possible PHaMS)
• Episodic conditions (particularly mental health). The current DES model is shaped around consistent progression to greater capacity and does not accommodate this. This is particularly relevant in both PPS and OS. The ability to re-enter the program from “independent worker” status should be possible.
• The provision of Ongoing support is of fundamental importance to the client cohort currently serviced in the ESS program; This must not be lost. Large numbers of OS clients should not affect new referrals into the provider
• Similarly JiJ plays an integral role in preventing participant job loss.
• Wage subsidies – Employer should need to demonstrate how this incentive is being used to support the DES participant, or could be redirected into a jobseeker account