The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions was joined on Thursday by working people to submit on the Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill.
The Bill, which is currently the Social Services and Community Committee, aims to address systemic accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people and tāngata whaikaha from living independently and participating in all areas of life.
NZCTU sector group Kaimahi Whaikaha – Workers with Disabilities – strongly supports the intention of the Bill, and recommends it be amended and strengthened to provide better protections for working people.
Kaimahi Whaikaha Co-Convenor Linsey Higgins said the disability community deserved better protections than what is currently being proposed.
“Accessibility is a fundamental human right. As a country, we need appropriate powers and structures set out so that right is realised.
“Disabled people are less likely to be employed than the general population or other minorities. Employment for disabled people is often limited by people’s discrimination and workplace inaccessibility rather than a person’s disability or impairment.
“For these reasons, we need disability legislation that is developed more in line with what we see in places like the United States and Canada.
“Kaimahi Whaikaha would also like to see more set roles on the Committee, including for disabled workers.”