There has been a lot of attention recently from the media regarding the repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act which took effect on November 1st ending a fourty seven year minimum wage exemptioon for disabled workers.
An article in the Northern Advocate on Saturday 10th November highlights a number of issues around the repeal of this act however as Jonny Wilkinson, CEO of Tiaho Trust states “An important recommendation in the “Pathway to Inclusion” document that gave rise to the DPEP Act repeal had fallen by the wayside. That document’s authors had called for a review of what extra services and funding would be needed in the area of quality daily activities once the law changed”.
The omission meant there were not enough community alternatives to the sheltered workshop vocational schemes or the “quality daily activities” they provided.
“A service that provides quality daily activities are vital and should not have to depend on being a pseudo-business,” Mr Wilkinson said. “But the big point a lot of people are missing is that quality daily activity is a worthwhile service in the community and should be appropriately funded. The repeal does not address that.”
Is there a need for approptiatly funded daily activity services that are not reliant on job placements for sustainability?