"Collective unconsciousness can be so vast that even the most global societal policies may be undeclared, unexplicated, unacknowledged, and even denied. Thus for many people to all work toward a bad thing requires no deliberate or conscious conspiracy" - Wolfensberger 2007
Do Wage subsidies work?
We might hope that were so, after all, the Commonwealth Government spend a small fortune subsidising the wage cost of folk from a variety of disadvantaged groups. However, there's not a whole load of research to suggest a subsidy is of genuine benefit to the person concerned and I will come back to the argument that, for people with disability, ineffective use of wage subsidy can be a damaging experience.
First of all, some recent research (1):
"In this study, we investigate an employer-side wage subsidy targeted at the long-term unemployed in Germany. The program's objective is to increase exit rates from unemployment to employment and to induce stable employment relationships for the economically disadvantaged target group. Using a large administrative data we assess the effectiveness of the program by estimating the impact of subsidy eligibility on employment outcomes.
We exploit the eligibility criterion of the program in conjunction with an RDD approach to investigate whether or not the availability of the subsidy is beneficial for the target group. Individuals just below the 12-month unemployment threshold are used as control group reflecting the hypothetical situation of non-existence of the government support. Given our large sample sizes around the cut-off point we can estimate the effect locally and obtain new results on subsidy effectiveness. We do not find any significant impact on employment outcomes. The possibility for firms to reduce wage cost by hiring preferably the long-term unemployed does not affect their exit rates out of unemployment. Furthermore, we find no substantial improvement on employment stability for those individuals due to the subsidy program"
The St. Gallen study, the most recent I could find, had a large sample size and suggests little to no benefit on the long term prospects of the subsidised employee.
I would argue that for people with disability the effect of wage subsidy is worse, creating a culture within the workspace that suggests, in Australian terms, 'nothing for nothing' - if a worker's wages are subsidised (and our funding body has created an environment that positively rewards fully purchased outcomes) then the only reason that makes any real sense is that this is because a person with a disability is inherently worth less.
Could wage subsides do harm?
Wolfensberger argues (above and '2' ) that it possible for well-intentioned big powerful groups to 'wound''smaller groups through deliberate action. Amongst the 21 possible classes of wounds are 'object of pity' and 'burden of charity'. I believe that the heavy promotion of wage subsidy linked to disability both spreads and perpetuates a view that it is only by off-setting the cost of a person's disability that they might become attractive or even acceptable to an employer.
Subsidies are not needed. NOVA's Richmond outlet under the stewardship of Selina Macarthur achieved a 12 month no use of subsidies, no job losses record while meeting every KPI required by both NOVA and our funding body.
Do wage subsidies reflect a world view?
If Australians believe that there is, 'nothing for nothing' then could it be that the persons responsible for program guidelines concerning people with disability also believe that such persons have little or no real worth to employers.
Maybe, but the facts argue differently. Statistically people with disability are as productive or more productive that their non-disabled peers, they take less sick time and are only as likely or even less likely than their non-disabled peers to make Workplace Health & Safety claims.
NOVA employs a large number of people with disability and I can categorically state they are amongst our most productive employees. We don't need a subsidy to appreciate their talent and neither should anyone else - educate on ability and contribution and not at sale or discount prices.
1. Schnemann, B., Lechner, M., & Wunsch, C.: "Do Long-term Unemployed Workers Benefit from Targeted Wage Subsidies?" July 2011 Discussion Paper no. 2011-26 School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen
2. Wolfensberger, W. 1991: 'A brief introduction to Social Role Valorization as a high-order concept for structuring human services'. Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry (Syracuse University Syracuse, NY:).
Would you like a face-to-face meeting with Martin via Skype? Click the button below to make an appointment
Subscribe to this Blog - blog.novaemployment.com.au Copy the link above and paste it into your favourite Reader to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog. To watch a short video explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web click here
Your Comments There are currently no comments on this article
Benchmarks To access NOVA Employment or any Disability Employment Service (DES), almost everyone is required to be assessed by the Services Australia Services (Centrelink) to determine their "Benchmark" hours: Benchmark hours are the pay point for service providers; being the minimum working hours required for the DES provider to bill the Government and the assessed maximum hours a person is deemed capable of working with DES support....
International Day of People with a Disability
International Day of People with a Disability
It's IDPwD and we have a 1 hour 'special' screening on SBS from 4.30 this afternoon.
Our Ryan Goodwin has done a great job of selecting some of the great entries from NOVA's 'Focusonability' short film festival - we love the Festival and hope that you'll love these films, gathered from around the world....
2020 - the first half When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Good! - Now they've left us, let's look at reality - when the going gets tough, many people suffer and dis-proportionally, people with disability suffer more....
Countdown Clock II
What's the countdown clock all about?
It's our closing time and a countdown to the end of a truly remarkable month of extraordinary effort by my staff....
Countdown Clock Regular viewers will have noticed a countdown clock ticking away (above)
What's that all about?
Can't say - you have to wait till 4.30pm (a little earlier for staff)
Just the best 3 One thing we all love is a winner which is why there's a smile on my face it will be pretty hard to shift.
There's a nightmare pandemic sweeping the world (carried off my mum), the economy has tanked in a never before seen disaster that's left more than a million Aussies unemployed and the only news seems to be bad news....
More than Money!
If asked, most of us would say we went to work for the money, to pay our bills or support our family.
All true, and yet work means so much more:
Prior to finding a job with NOVA employment Glenn* struggled to keep jobs for more than a few months and was generally working as a dishwasher in restaurants which he found to be quite unsatisfying work....
Life Changers II
How are you in the mornings (or evenings, or nights)? NOVA is an 'old school' Disability Employment Service - we find work in the general community with identical pay and conditions as those enjoyed by people who dont have a disability....
Life Changers Required! Received yesterday:
I was unemployed for 24 years because of my disability. I was looking for a job for the last 2 and half years. With the help of (NOVA Staff) I found suitable job and working in the law company for last one year....
Don't know about you but I have felt pretty bruised from all the horrible stuff brought upon us by this damn virus - seeing so many folk losing their jobs is particularly awful and the uncertainty generated for everyone, particularly for workers who have a disability is dreadful to see....
Best Ever II
Following from last post:
NOVA Employment has operated for 30 years. Comparing all results from previous years, February 2020 has been our most successful to date - Following on from January that's 2 in a row and every indication March will also be a record breaker....
NOVA Employment posted another 'best ever' result for the first month of 2020.
Despite the most dreadful natural disasters and with many businesses closed for the holidays, the NOVA team delivered more new workers than in any previous January results, beating past 5 years average by 25% and previous (2017) 'best ever' numbers by 5%....
Depressing cracked record!
A good friend will occasionally pull me up with the reminder that I have a tendency to rant, 'rave on slop jaw' if I remember correctly....
Big Win! Saturday night saw a big win for the NOVA team and for people with disability when our Podcast partners NOVA Entertainment- no relationship other than mates - received the following:
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - BRANDED
Focus On Ability; Nova Employment & the Nova Entertainment Podcast Team , NOVA Entertainment
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - UNBRANDED
Hamish & Andy; Hamish Blake & Andy Lee, PodcastOne Australi
Taken from the web: https://www....
Received the following yesterday morning:
Hi Nova, just wanted to give my feedback in regards to my mother getting a job through you guys and the amazing impact it has had!! The job that mum has received has changed her outlook on everything! She is now much more confident in her self and her abilities....
Welfare Benefits and Health
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power: David Brin
DES providers don't need nor should they have been given the authority to suspend welfare benefits (see above)....
I have spoken previously on, to quote former President Bush, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations' - if you are a member of a marginalised group the public don't expect much and are surprised when anything much is achieved!
I've been in this game for more than 30 years and have been privileged to see literally thousands of terrific men and women leave NOVA To gain (and retain) great jobs....
Read this article: https://www.smh.com.au/national/no-lights-no-linen-how-alex-survived-for-six-years-on-newstart-20190717-p5284q....
One of the hardest things to do is change a person's attitude - if they are favourably disposed to you, all's well and good - if someone holds a contrary view it's an uphill battle to change a mindset....
Retention Retention, Retention!
Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, something comes along that causes you to stop and to reconsider the way your business is conducted....