Government must sort out sheltered workshops package
Labour must ensure people with disabilities working in sheltered workshops are not disadvantaged if the Disabled Persons
Employment Promotion (Repeal and Related Matters) Bill goes through, says National’s Disability Issues spokesman, Dr
The bill remains high on the order paper to be discussed by Parliament, but there is doubt as to whether the Government
has the numbers to pass it.
“My major concern is that, because of the Government’s failure to sort out the tax and benefit arrangements for workers
with disabilities, and the support package for employers, people with disabilities who choose to work in sheltered
workshops could be disadvantaged,” says Dr Hutchison.
“I recently visited Abilities on Auckland’s North Shore and Workforce Auckland in Mangere and was very impressed with
the enthusiasm and positive attitude of the people involved.
“The workers with disabilities were so keen on their jobs, many turned up early for work. The atmosphere was quite
inspiring – I saw no evidence of anyone being taken advantage of.
“To my knowledge, all sheltered workshops support the eventual repeal of the DPEP Act, but the Government has still not
defined the critical tax and benefit arrangements or support packages that are needed to ensure no one is
disadvantaged,” says Dr Hutchison.