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Fair Work Commission moves closer to a decision on wage setting in supported employment

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3/12/2018

Following a hearing on 29-30 November, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission is likely to make a final decision on wage determination in Disability Enterprises in early 2019. The signs at this stage justify cautious optimism. Submissions from NDS and employer parties outlining how a new classification structure in the SES Award might work were well-received.In mid-September the Full Bench directed parties to provide written submissions in response to their 16 April Statement and invited proposals on the design and implementation of a new wage assessment mechanism.NDS proposed a classification structure for the Full Bench’s consideration, filed as part of our submission.The Full Bench set aside 29 and 30 November to hear oral submissions. The hearing enabled NDS and other Award review parties to elaborate on submissions on a new classification structure in the SES Award that incorporates job sizing and a productive output assessment. NDS was represented by Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors, who spoke to our submission and those of employer parties regarding a proposed classification structure. These submissions were well received by the Full Bench. In NDS’s oral statement we urged the Full Bench to allocate adequate time for the testing and implementation of any new wage determination method.AED Legal and the Health Services Union spoke against the submissions lodged by NDS and Disability Enterprises, arguing that the modified SWS should be the only wage assessment mechanism recognised in the SES Award. The Commonwealth stated that it would need to analyse any new wage assessment mechanism before supporting it, to ensure it complied with the international conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Disability Discrimination Act.NDS anticipates a final judgment in this matter in early 2019. We are cautiously optimistic about the outcome and future directions in wage setting. We will continue to keep members informed of developments as they arise.

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