Royal commission hears Australian disability enterprise workers paid as little as $2.50 an hour – ABC News (Elizabeth Wright, et al | April 2022)

Young down syndrome woman holding protest banner with united we stand rights message annoyed and frustrated shouting with anger, crazy and yelling with raised hand, anger concept

Victorian man Greg Tucker has been doing manual work for the past two years, packing nappies in a warehouse.

Key points:

  • Australian disability enterprises (ADEs) provide employment for people with disability, separate to the mainstream workforce
  • Some people working in ADEs get paid as little as $2.37 per hour
  • The disability royal commission is examining ADEs and hearing from witnesses and providers
Stories and experiences like this are a sickening and too familiar demonstration of why we say the current approach to disability employment is flawed and selling the Australian disability community short.  We believe disability entrepreneurship can be the solution to the apparently intractable problems.

For his efforts, he has been paid $2.50 an hou

“I do a lot of work like sealing and packing,” r Tucker told the disability royal commission.

“At the end of the day … I’m always really exhausted and [have] a bit of a sore back.”

Mr Tucker’s employer has told him that next week, his wage will rise to $8.13 an hour.

He told the royal commission he deserved more.

Wages as low as $2.37 an hour

The disability royal commission has been examining the experiences of people with disability working in ADEs, previously known as sheltered workshops.

An ADE is a type of organisation that provides supported employment for people with moderate to severe disability, separate from the mainstream workforce.

Stories and experiences like this are a sickening and too familiar demonstration of why we say the current approach to disability employment is flawed and selling the Australian disability community short.  We believe disability entrepreneurship can be the solution to the apparently intractable problems.

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