The Commission has made a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission in response to an application by the federal Department of Social Services for an exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth). The Department is seeking the exemption from the DDA on its behalf, and on behalf of Australian Disability Enterprises, to allow them to continue to use a particular wage assessment tool to assess and pay wages to people working in disability enterprises. In 2012, the Federal Court found that the use of the tool indirectly discriminated against two men with an intellectual disability.
The Commission considers the exemption application raises important issues regarding rights to equality and non-discrimination at work for people with an intellectual disability. In the Commission's view, the exemption should not be granted on the basis of the information currently provided by the Department. The Commission's submission discusses relevant considerations for the exemption application and notes some specific human rights considerations from a Victorian perspective.