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

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news