The intention of Disability Services Standard 9 is that people with disabilities get paid 'real wages for real work'.
All employment services should identify award-based or equivalent paid work opportunities for people with disabilities as part of their service practice.
For workers who are unable to work at full productive capacity due to their disability, there is a range of tools to assess pro-rata wages. The accepted mechanism for people in open employment is the Supported Wage System (SWS), which is administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
For workers in Australian Disability Enterprises (previously known as Business Services) no particular wage assessment tool is prescribed, however the service must demonstrate that their assessment of pro-rata wages meets the criteria outlined in A Guide to Good Practice Wage Determination.
The Wage Assessment Tool Checklist has been developed using the Guide to Good Practice in Wage Determination that underlies Standard 9. Its use is not mandatory and is intended to provide a guide for employment services and certification bodies regarding Key Performance Indicator 9.1 assessment.
The Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT)
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) developed and administers the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).
Disability enterprises are not required to use the BSWAT and can choose to use one of the tools approved by the Australian Fair Pay Commission (decommissioned in June 2009). Its duties are now performed by Fair Work Australia.
BSWAT assessments are undertaken by CRS Australia and guidelines about how the tool works are available on the CRS Australia website.
Analysis of Wage Assessment Tools used by Business Services
In early 2005 research was undertaken to assess the various wage assessment tools in common use by Australian Disability Enterprises.
The approved wage assessment tools are listed under the following:
- Fair Work Australia website
- Final Report - Incorporating 22 Wage Tools
- Analysis of Wage Assessment Tools used by Business Services - Final Report
Fair Work Australia's Wage-Setting Decisions for employees with disability can be found at the Fair Work Australia website.