Compensation law can rectify some of the inequalities in our world. For too long, the vulnerable within our societies have been exploited by avaristic parties taking advantage of their position. The disabled among us have often been institutionalised and their labour has been used by ‘so called’ charitable organisations for very little remuneration or nothing at all. Do gooders thought that these people were lucky to have something to do and the idea that they should be paid a reasonable wage was never entertained. Spurious companies and individuals then took further advantage of this situation to make substantial profits from reduced costs of production.
Compensation for the Disabled
Now, things are different and charities running sheltered workshops and the like must pay their workers the minimum wage, as established by the Fair Work Commission. The union movement campaigned strongly for these changes and the recognition of disabled workers to earn a reasonable standard of living. Whether you feel that you are doing someone a favour by getting them a job, you still have to pay them the going wage. Disabled people are not lesser human beings; they are merely different in their capabilities at certain occupations.
Compensation lawyers can act for disabled individuals who consider that they are not being properly renumerated by their employers. According to a recent report from the Australian Human Rights Commission there is still much discrimination in the workplace against individuals with a disability. Australians with a disability are twice as likely to be unemployed as those without. The Commission received more than three and half thousand discrimination complaints from individuals with a disability and a third of those were linked to employment. Attitudes in the community take a long time to change, despite evidence supporting the economic benefits of employing an individual with a disability.
A study of a Walgreens model finding, showed that employees with a disability had low turnover rates and were less likely to get injured in the workplace. Employers need to learn to look past the disability and see the person. It is time that business started to grow up and embody positive cultural attitudes. Business is always carping on about too much government interference, and the Liberal National Party has a platform of small government and free enterprise, but if business is not socially inclusive, then, it cannot be left alone to just do its things in the marketplace. Government in Australia will continue to have an important role, whilst outdated attitudes and business practices remain.