Friday, March 23, 2007

Another step forward for equality

Last night the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion (Repeal and Related Matters) Bill passed its third reading. The Bill repealed the old Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act 1960, which exempted sheltered workshops from employment law, with the result that these workplaces will be fully covered by ordinary employment law (including OSH standards, holidays, and employee bargaining rights) from 30 November. They will also be subject to the minimum wage, though individual workers (rather than their employers) will still be able to be issued with an exemption depending on the extent of their disability. The law is a significant step forward for equality, and it has been hailed as such by the IHC, CCS, and Disabled Persons Assembly.

Naturally, the National Party opposed it. I guess "one law for all" doesn't apply to the disabled either.