Back to All News

Labour force participation rates for people with disability have remained static for the past 20 years despite Disability Employment Services receiving $800million annual funding 

The ANAO have released their report, Management of Agreements for Disability Employment Services which indicates clear concerns around elevations frameworks to measure the success of a program that receives $800million in funding per year and which was recently “reformed”. 


"The ANAO has found that the Department of Social Services did not develop an evaluation framework to measure the success of the DES reforms. 


"It is incredible that there is no process for measuring its success or the effectiveness of this program. 


"It’s deeply concerning but of course not surprising that the primary cause of an increase in Disability Employment Service expenditure in 2019-20 is growth in the caseload, due to more referrals from Newstart and Youth Allowance.


"The majority of DES participants (75.9%) are on Newstart/Youth Allowance and only 10.5% are on DSP. 


"It truly begs the question why the Government is forcing disabled people onto an unemployment payment?


"Labour force participation rates for people with disability have remained static for the past 20 years at around 53 per cent, compared to 83 per cent for people without disability. 


"Of the 4244 job plans assessed in 2018–19, only 56.0 per cent met all three criteria. These job plan reviews were suspended in January 2020 citing resourcing constraints. – This is an example of why DES isn’t achieving results for disabled people


"The Department has also revealed that they do not track or have any plans to evaluate the Program of Support which is the program that many disabled people have to do before they can even put in an application for DSP There is also no cost-benefit analysis. 


"We clearly have a big problem with supporting disabled people either into work or assessing the DSP. The Government is not doing any proper analysis of their programs or what is working." 


Media Contact:
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180

Back to All News