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

 

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Monarchy: Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Are Expecting Second Child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child. More>>

ALSO:

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news