Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Disabled people want to work

Disabled people want to work

While it is important to acknowledge important advances for disabled workers in New Zealand, serious challenges remain, said Commissioner Robyn Hunt, on the eve of International Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December.

Ms Hunt welcomed the Government’s repeal of the Disabled Persons in Employment Act on November 30. The result was that sheltered workshops will be required to pay at least the minimum wage to all their employees who will now receive the same entitlements to holiday and sick leave as employees elsewhere.

She said, “For far too many years sheltered workshops have paid many of their workers less than the minimum wage regardless of their ability. This disregarded their human rights.”

She said the move would go some way to ensuring that disabled people were properly counted in the workforce. Commission staff had recently obtained data from Statistics New Zealand that compared the numbers of New Zealanders with and without disability in the workforce. According to the New Zealand Household Disability Survey 2006, 96 per cent of New Zealanders aged between 15-65 without a disability were employed, compared to 93 per cent of adults with disability.

However Ms Hunt said the figures failed to account for the many disabled people who want to work but are not counted as in the labour force.

“There are many disabled people who want to work, but they are not counted and this creates a false picture of the numbers of disabled people able to work,” she said.

If adults not in the labour force are included in the calculation of employment rates, people with disability have a much lower rate of employment, 60 per cent of those with disability are employed compared to 80 per cent of working adults based on information from Statistics New Zealand.

The theme for the International Day of Disabled Persons this year is “Decent work for persons with disabilities.” Ms Hunt said, “This serves to remind us that in this country a high percentage of disabled people are not able to engage in work that would not only help their economic status, but also ensure that they were able to take a fuller part in society.”

She urged disabled advocacy groups, employers and the Government to work together on improving the employment situation for disabled people.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ardern Speech: Justice Summit Opens

If we want to talk about an effective justice system, we shouldn’t start with a discussion about prisons, but a discussion about New Zealand...

We believe in a ‘fair go’. We are fair minded and like to give people a chance. Ensuring everyone is treated fairly is part of the fabric of our culture.

And equally, we are defined by what we don’t believe ourselves to be – and we certainly don’t feel like the kind of place that would have one of the highest incarceration rates in the western world, and yet we do. More>>


Christchurch Quake: New Red Zone Payment For Uninsured

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MP Pay And The REAL P.C. Danger Zone

There has never been anything remotely credible about the way parliamentarians would paint themselves as the helpless victims of the Remuneration Authority when it came to their pay increases... More>>


Repatriation: Remains Of NZ Service People Return Home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Veterans Ron Mark say they were honoured to be with the families of service personnel as they welcomed their loved ones home. More>>


Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>


Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>


Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>


TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>




Featured InfoPages