People with mental illness are highly disadvantaged in the labour market, recording high unemployment rates, relatively low earnings, participation and employment rates. They are firmly entrenched at the back of the jobs queue. This paper considers the likely impact on people with mental illness of the 2010 changes to Disability Employment Services. The new system offers greater opportunity for tailoring services to individual needs but falls short of a "best practice" model due to two major deficiencies. First, retention of Welfare to Work imposes participation requirements, is disempowering, risks detrimental impacts on mental health and impedes effective relationships between employment consultants and job seekers. Second, the absence of policies to stimulate labour demand in favour of concentrating on supply-side policies will hamper the ability of this cohort to obtain and retain employment.
Labour Underutilisation, Unemployment and Underemployment incorporating the 11th Path to Full Employment Conference and 16th National Conference on Unemployment, 2009. Proceedings of the 11th Path to Full Employment Conference and 16th National Conference on Unemployment 2009 (Newcastle, N.S.W. 3-4 December, 2009) p. 60-73