News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Proposed Work Tests Are Concerning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

14 JANUARY 2013

Proposed Work Tests Are Concerning

One of New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisation CCS Disability Action is calling on the Government to abandon proposals for UK-style work ability assessments for the disabled.

The invalid's benefit is due to be replaced by the supported living payment as part of welfare reforms later this year.

David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, is concerned at the prospect of work assessments mirroring the UK system, which is carried out by contracted providers.

“According to a speech by the Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, these tests will be based on the work of Professor Sir Mansel Aylward and the tests in the United Kingdom.

“We support the use of appropriate tests designed to find out what assistance and supports the person needs to obtain employment. However, we have grave concerns about UK-style assessments, especially when these are undertaken by contracted providers.

“Despite the rhetoric about focusing on people’s abilities, these tests have proven to be medical model based checklists, often administrated by people with little real knowledge of disability. The complex social and economic factors that govern people’s access to employment are deemed unimportant in these tests which are characterized by asking meaningless questions about the person’s ability to hold a half kilogram weight.

“The assessments have been particularly inaccurate at assessing those with fluctuating conditions, such as Multiple sclerosis, and mental health issues.”

CCS Disability Action chief executive David Matthews cited research showing the British Government had spent £42.2 million (NZ$80.5m) on appeals against the tests. About 40% of decisions have been appealed and 40% of these have found in favour of the claimant. Often those who have won appeals are quickly reassessed by the government, starting the process again.

“There are serious questions about the accuracy and suitability of the United Kingdom assessments. This creates major problems for the current direction and aims of the New Zealand welfare reforms. We have serious doubts that the consequences of the changes have been properly considered.

The current proposals are at odds with the Government’s other disability initiatives, the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said Mr Matthews.

“Most Government policy focuses on how society builds barriers for the disabled, whereas a key part of the UK system is centered on the extent to which a disabled person could overcome barriers.

"The whole philosophy and approach to disability in New Zealand is based on the social model which looks at the barriers to employing people, rather than what's wrong with the individual," he said.

"We are concerned about basing welfare changes in New Zealand on such a flawed approach."


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news