New guidelines were announced by the government yesterday to assist employers and workers with better employment outcomes for disabled people.

Latest figures show that 72% of non-disable people have employment but only 25% of disabled people are in employment.

Minister for Disabilities Issues Carmel Sepuloni says we need to change these statistics.

“There are high rates of unemployment amongst disabled people with a high number wanting to work so there are issues out there that we need to address.”

The current statistics also show that 74% of non-working disabled people want to work.

Chief Executive of NZ Disability Support Network Garth Bennie says it's a barrier for employers.

“It is a lack of information by employers has about the potential that disabled people have to contribute to their workplaces and historical prejudices and mistaken assumptions that people make about disable people able to contribute to the workforce.”

Bennie says one pressing issue to further work on is the 1000 disabled people in the workforce on a minimum wage exemption.

“Some work needs to be done with government around alternatives to minimum wage provisions. We look forward to an opportunity to work with the government on figuring out how we move away from that in a way that doesn't disenfranchise people’s current situation.”

The government hopes to work collaboratively to resolve this particular issue.

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