One month to go – workers with intellectual disabilities urged to sign up for payment scheme

30 March 2017
Workers with intellectual disabilities who were unfairly underpaid while working at Australian Disability Enterprises are being urged to register for compensation before time runs out.

The deadline for workers to register for the payment is April 30 but thousands of eligible workers are yet to register.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, which secured the historic compensation settlement for these workers, is now calling on workers to sign up before it is too late.

“For years many of these workers, who are among the most vulnerable in our community, were being underpaid in breach of disability discrimination laws,” said Josh Bornstein, head of employment law at Maurice Blackburn.

“Last year we secured the compensation agreement for these underpaid workers, but they need to register with the Department of Social Services to take part in the payment scheme.

“With just one month to go before registrations close, we urge all eligible workers to register for the payment scheme to ensure they receive the back pay they are entitled to.”

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers won the historic class action settlement in 2016 for these workers, some who had been earning as little as 99 cents an hour.

The settlement covers workers with an intellectual disability who worked at Australian Disability Enterprises during the period from 1 January 2004 to 28 May 2014, and whose wages were assessed by the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).

According to the Full Federal Court, this wage assessment tool discriminated against workers with intellectual disabilities.

It is estimated that about 10,000 workers with intellectual disabilities could be paid compensation of more than $100 million as part of the scheme.

Workers can register for the payment scheme by calling the Department on 1800 799 515, visiting the website at https://bswat.dss.gov.au/ or emailing bswatpayments@dss.gov.au to be sent an application form to complete.

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