Exploring the interface of the NDIS and Disability Employment Services: The influence on employment outcomes for Australians with disability
Australia’s Disability Employment Scheme (DES) program is the Federal Government’s specialised welfare program for people whose disability is assessed as their main barrier to employment. The interaction of the NDIS and DES systems occurs when either existing DES participants gain access to the NDIS or when an NDIS participant requests employment support within their package. Within the NDIS, DES are recognised as the primary source of assistance for NDIS participants wanting support to build skills to participate in and gain work, and, provision of on-going support to help participants maintain employment. Yet there is limited evidence of whether and how the NDIS/DES interface is functioning effectively to improve employment outcomes for Australian’s with disability.
The budgetary implications of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) were rationalised on modelling that the NDIS would lead to improved employment outcomes for many people with disability and their carers, thereby offsetting the cost of the Scheme’s implementation.
The project investigated participant and stakeholder perspectives on this interface and its influence on employment outcomes for people with disability.
“It really comes down to the NDIA, the planners, the people who are knowledgeable enough about the employment system and the employment opportunities. From what we can gather, there are a lot of issues around low expectations for people with disability.” (survey participant)
Australians with disability continue to experience poorer employment outcomes compared to people without disability.
The findings point towards a stronger focus for future investigations on the interaction between the NDIS and DES in order to achieve better employment outcomes for people with disability. We recommend the findings be further prioritised by stakeholders and the research team, to help shape a shared future research agenda.
This project was funded by the Melbourne Disability Institute through Seed Funding in 2020.
Ms Alexandra Devine, Nossal Institute for Global Health and Disability and Health Unit, The University of Melbourne
Dr Sue Olney, Melbourne Disability Institute, The University of Melbourne
Professor Shelley Mallett, Brotherhood of St Laurence
Ms Stefanie Dimov, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Ms Georgia Katsikis, Melbourne Disability Institute
- Exploring the interface between the NDIS and Disability Employment Services (DES) (Web, PDF, Word)
- Olney S, Devine A, Karanikolas P, Dimov S, Malbon J & Katsikis G. Disability and work in a health and economic crisis: Mitigating the risk of long-term labour market exclusion for Australians with disability through policy coordination. AJPA, 2021, June 2021. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12500