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Education and Employment

Disability Employment Services program failed to provide appropriate support

wheelchair user entering in the office

The Royal Commission has published the Commissioner’s Report on Public hearing 21, which examined the experiences of people with disabilities engaging with the Disability Employment Services (DES) program.

Public hearing 21 examined a case study involving Mzia, who was diagnosed with ADHD and worked for the DES provider AimBig from June 2019 until January 2020.

The report makes 11 findings about the DES provider and its related companies, including that AimBig failed to provide appropriate support to Mzia after it placed her in its barista training program. This impacted her mental health and financial wellbeing.

Key findings in the report include:

  • there was conflict between Aimbig’s dual roles as Mzia’s DES provider and her host employer in delivering the coffee shop program. As her DES provider, AimBig had a responsibility to support Mzia during her employment, including providing advice about how to address problems with her employer – who was also AimBig.
  • Aimbig’s processes for making complaints or resolving issues were not made clear to Mzia.

Key recommendations in the report include:

  • Arriba Group Pty, the company which owns Aimbig, should review its employment contracts to make sure they refer to the correct laws and industrial awards.
  • AimBig’s CEO should apologise to Mzia, acknowledging how and why AimBig failed her as both an employee and a DES participant.
  • Aimbig should make appropriate redress to Mzia for the impact of its failures on her health, wellbeing and future employment prospects.

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