Major overhaul of disability employment services sees eight providers shut down

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Half of the country’s disability employment service (DES) providers will see some or all of their services end due to poor performance following a major review of the sector in the wake of the disability royal commission.

From today (Sunday, 21 August) 52 of the 104 DES providers nationally will begin to be contacted by the Federal Government and informed that some or all of their services will end due to poor performance.

Eight of these providers will effectively be shut down by the federal government as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the sector, while the remainder will continue to offer some services.

The changes will impact more than 15 thousand people with a disability.

Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said the shakeup of the disability employment sector was long overdue.

“Evidence at the Royal Commission showed that for some time, poorly performing DES providers seemed to be more interested in collecting government payments rather than finding good long-term jobs for their clients.

“While there are many good providers hopefully with these reforms, we see a sector that now fully has the interests of people living with a disability at the very centre of their operations,” he said.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth says people living with disability deserve the best possible service in helping to find employment.

“The changes mean those people will be placed in better-run services and will have more opportunities to find work,” she said.

The ABC reports that the review heard evidence that many DES providers were not achieving long-term outcomes for clients, with job placements ending abruptly, or in some cases only lasting while subsidies were being paid.

Complaints were made of providers focusing on those clients most likely to find work, while “parking” more disadvantaged jobseekers and paying them little attention, or churning others through activities for little benefit.

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Disability employment sector overhaul ’long overdue’, CathNews

Struggling disabled job providers culled, AAP

Media Contact: Michael Salmon | 0417 495 018

PO Box 6067, O’Connor ACT 2602. T 02 6285 1366 | E

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