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News and Reviews

Disabled workers disproportionately victims of wage theft

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Research shows that workers with disability are overrepresented in the gig economy and victims to wage theft.

Disabled workers disproportionately victims of wage theft

 

Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Research shows that workers with disability are overrepresented in the gig economy and are more likely to work casual hours. For that reason, new employment laws that seek to allow the introduction of minimum standards for these workers cannot afford to be delayed any further.

These minimum standards include pay, penalty rates, superannuation, payment terms, record-keeping, insurance, representation, consultation, working time and potentially a right to annual leave depending on the worker’s situation. With the gig economy on an upward trajectory, these minimum standards should be introduced sooner rather than later.

Slater and Gordon Lawyer in Industrial and Employment law Cassandra Grey said that a significant number of people with disabilities rely on gig economy work to help meet their basic needs of daily life.

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability published on 2 November 2023, details the evidence received by the Disability Royal Commission — regarding widespread wage theft among firms that hire disabled workers as well as recommendations to ensure truly inclusive employment for workers with disabilities.

The Disability Royal Commission heard evidence from the Australian Human Rights Council that people with disability are more likely than others to work casual hours and work in the gig economy. This means that they are still working without minimum standards and secure pay as the cost-of-living rises, often with additional expenses they must pay for related to their disability.

“This just demonstrates how vital it is to enshrine workers’ rights in these industries, so no workers with disabilities continue to slip through the cracks and the human right of disabled people to be employed in just and favourable conditions can be fully realised.

“Gig economy workers can have low bargaining power, low authority over their work and often receive pay at or below the rates of comparable employees, without the security and protection afforded to employees under Australian industrial relations law. Casual employees also face potential uncertainty of available work usually without any leave entitlements.

Research shows that workers with disability are overrepresented in the gig economy and victims to wage theft.

Research shows that workers with disability are overrepresented in the gig economy and victims to wage theft.

“People with disabilities already face tremendous hurdles in the workforce, including finding suitable employment, accessing reasonable adjustments, prejudicial attitudes of employers, discrimination and wage theft. So it’s disappointing, but unsurprising that they’re having to turn to the gig economy to make ends meet,” Ms Grey said.

The proposed reforms will allow the Fair Work Commission to exercise its new jurisdiction to ensure gig economy workers receive added workplace protections. The changes will also make wage theft a criminal offence throughout Australia, increase civil penalties for underpayment offences, prevent employers paying labour hire employees lower rates of pay than their direct employees and amend the defence available to employers who are accused of sham contracts.

The reforms will also make it easier for casual employees to choose to change to permanent employment, provide greater protection from discrimination for employees (including prospective employees) who experience family and domestic violence, and allow digital platform workers to contest unfair deactivation from the apps they work through. Deactivation occurs where a gig economy worker is removed from an app, preventing them from earning an income.

“The statistics emerging from the Disability Royal Commission of the rates of violence, abuse, and neglect of disabled people in Australia are shocking, and it’s time that family and domestic violence was recognised as a protected attribute in anti-discrimination legislation.

“Stable and secure employment benefits both employees and employers. Employers who underpay workers should be made to pay civil penalties proportionate to the amount of the underpayment.”

“These reforms for gig economy and casual workers would positively impact many vulnerable workers who can face substantial power imbalances up against large digital platform employers and should not be delayed.

“Workers with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to being left behind and it’s imperative that our industrial relations system protects the rights of all workers,” Ms Grey said.

 

For more business news, click here.

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News and Reviews

New development planned for Woolgoolga Retirement Village

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New development planned for Woolgoolga Retirement Village

 

Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village Ltd are taking steps to add a collection of modern retirement residences and amenities to their village in High Street. They are in the early phase of planning a new development to be called Callisto Coastal Retirement.

Sasha Andrews, Chief Executive Officer of Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village Ltd is excited about the plans. “We are very proud to be adding Callisto Coastal Retirement to our community.” Ms Andrews said. “We are part of a great community in a fantastic location and aim to set the benchmark for premium retirement living in Woolgoolga.”

At this early stage, they are keen to get input from the local community of future residents to help create the perfect coastal retirement. A Feedback Forum is being offered to eligible potential residents aged 55+, providing an opportunity to learn more, convey their thoughts, ideas and insights around design and services, features, amenities and priorities.

The new development has the support of the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit, community owned organisation. Chairperson, Ian Wade said “Woolgoolga and District Retirement Village has played an important role in the community for many years and we want to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of our seniors for years to come. We have a great opportunity to provide quality retirement living, built with future residents in mind.”

A community Feedback Forum is planned for Tuesday 7 May. For details and to register to attend, go to the website here. For more on the Woolgoolga Retirement Village, visit here.

 

For more Coffs Harbour news, click here.

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Lismore News

Memory Run Walk Jog – My Way Lismore

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Dementia awareness

Memory Run Walk Jog – My Way Lismore

Albert Park Baseball Grounds

Keen Street Lismore
8am Sunday 19th May 2024

Join a fun community activity to fundraise and raise dementia awareness. Last year, more than 10,000 people walked, jogged and ran in cities and towns across Australia for people impacted by dementia. Dementia awareness

Lismore events include a 10km run, a 5km jog/walk or a 1km walk so that the day is inclusive of all levels of physical ability.

There will be information stalls providing details of supports, local resources and services to help those impacted by dementia, as well as food and drinks.

Form a team from your workplace, local club, friends or family (dress up to make it fun!) and enter the 1km walk, 5km jog/walk or a 10km run. Get lots of sponsors!

To register a team or take part as an individual go to:
www.memorywalk.com.au/event/lismore-myway

Dementia awareness

Dementia awareness

Currently, dementia is the leading cause of death in women and overall, it is the second leading cause of death for all Australians. In 2024, it is estimated that more than 1.6 million people in Australia are involved in the care of someone living with dementia.

Dr Jones says ‘The ageing population in the Northern Rivers is growing at an exponential rate. Our region is one of the highest ageing communities in NSW and this comes with increasing rates of those impacted by dementia in our community. I’m quite keen to see that we adopt more preventable approaches against dementia in our region’. Dementia awareness

Dr Jones says ‘There are many things we can do to prevent dementia or delay your risk of developing dementia. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, in particular regular exercise can make a significant difference’.

“We encourage the whole community to come together, not only to raise money for
Dementia Australia, but also to exercise together and to fight this disease” says Dr Jones.

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News and Reviews

Man charged following alleged stabbing – Campsie

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Man charged following alleged stabbing – Campsie

 

A man will face court tomorrow (Friday 12 April 2024) charged over an alleged stabbing in Campsie in Sydney’s southwest yesterday (Wednesday 10 April 2024).

About 8:45pm yesterday, emergency services were called to a unit at Ninth Avenue, Campsie, following reports of a stabbing.

Officers attached to Campsie Police Area Command attended and found a 53-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man with multiple stab wounds.

Both were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, with the woman taken to St George Hospital with stab wounds to the thigh.

The man was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a critical condition with stab wounds to his face, arm and chest.

A short time later a 25-year-old man, was arrested and taken to Concord Hospital.

Police established a crime scene and detectives commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Following the 25-year-old man’s release from hospital, he was arrested and taken to Campsie Police Station.

He was charged with two counts of attempted murder and break and enter dwelling and assault with intent to murder.

The man was refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court tomorrow (Friday 12 April 2024).

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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