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The Disability Royal Commission examined the experience of people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises. 

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Content Warning 

Some of the stories and information below may contain details about abuse, neglect and mistreatment of people with disabilities. You can find help if you have any concerns because of this information.

How can I attend? 

Public hearing 22 was held from 11-13 April 2022. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and impacts, the hearing was conducted online. The hearing was not open to the public but was live-streamed on the Royal Commission website.

The live stream and video recordings include Auslan, captions and audio-only options. There are transcripts available in PDF and DOCX formats.

What is it about?

The Royal Commission’s Public hearing 22 examines the experiences of people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

ADEs are described by the Australian Government as organisations that provide "supported employment opportunities to people with moderate to severe disability across Australia".[1]

The hearing was live-streamed on the Royal Commission website.

The Royal Commission examined the experiences of people with disability working in ADEs, including:

  • whether there is choice and control in relation to employment, including opportunities for progression, training and transition to open employment
  • the payment of supported wages
  • social and financial inclusion
  • oversight of ADEs
  • any related matters.

The Royal Commission heard evidence from witnesses including people with disability who currently work in or have worked in ADEs, family members, and representatives of an ADE, an advocacy organisation, a peak body for disability service providers and the Australian Government.

[1] Supported Employment | Department of Social Services, Australian Government (dss.gov.au)


Monday 11 April 2022 - Day 1

Tuesday 12 April 2022 - Day 2

Wednesday 13 April 2022 - Day 3

Witness List

Official Transcripts 

Monday 11 April 2022


Opening Address - Public hearing 22, Virtual.pdf

Media coverage

Monday, April 11 2022

The Guardian Australia

People with disability working for legal pay as low as $2.27 an hour, inquiry hears

Senior counsel assisting the commission, Kate Eastman, told the inquiry on Monday it would hear evidence that the lowest wage an hour for a supported employee at one large ADE was $2.27 an hour.

The highest rate was $23.85 an hour, while the average rate at that ADE was $6.28 an hour. The national minimum wage is $20.33 an hour.

Tuesday, April 12 2022

Adelaide Advertiser

[Subscribption required]

Does any worker deserve to be paid just $2 an hour?

An SA company that claimed JobKeeper and supplies giants like Bunnings pays disabled staff as little as $2 per hour, workers have told a Royal Commission hearing.

Wednesday, April 13 2022

ABC News

Royal commission hears Australian disability enterprise workers paid as little as $2.50 an hour

Victorian man Greg Tucker has been doing manual work for the past two years, packing nappies in a warehouse. For his efforts, he has been paid $2.50 an hour.

"I do a lot of work like sealing and packing," Mr Tucker told the disability royal commission.

"At the end of the day … I’m always really exhausted and [have] a bit of a sore back."

Thursday, April 14 2022

Pedestrian TV

[Coarse language warning]

Disabled Workers In Aus Are Being Paid As Little As $2 An Hour & What’s Worse Is It’s Legal

Disabled people have been exploited and discriminated against for years, but inequity at such widespread levels is disgusting. This is something that is rife right across the country and barely anyone is speaking about it.

Support Services

Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free, independent legal service supporting people with disabilities to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission safely.

The Disability Royal Commission has set up support services for people with disabilities affected by or interacting with the Commission process. These supports include counselling, advocacy, and financial and legal help. For more information and links, read our resource on Royal Commission Support Services.

The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline is a free, independent and confidential service for reporting mistreatment of people with disabilities. 

Disability Royal Commission 

Phone: 1800 517 199
Web:    disability.royalcommission.gov.au 
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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