Simplified contracts help workers

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:00 03/03/2014

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An award-winning contract has helped a Nelson man with learning disabilities get a shiny new job.

Peter McClunie, 19, has been cleaning vehicles at Quay Cars since December last year. He found the work through Nelson employment support charity Workstar which supplied him with a simple employment agreement created especially to put those with disabilities in the workforce.

The agreement was given an international award as an example of good practice through the Austrian Essl Foundation in 2012.

Workstar employment consultant Dave Wickham helped create the easy-to-read individual employment agreement with advocacy group People First. He brought the contract with him to Workstar and works with people with disabilities to put them in paid work and provide ongoing support.

Mr McClunie, who has dyslexia and other learning difficulties, works at the car yard two and a half days a week cleaning and grooming vehicles.

He said he enjoyed the work, and spent his wages on board to his parents, and was saving for his own car - a convertible preferably.

He enjoyed the work and said he hoped one day to work up the ranks and be a salesman.

He had spent nine months working with Adult Learning Support to get his learner driver's licence.

Mr Wickham said the strength of the agreement was its simplicity, it was made for people with learning and intellectual issues in mind. It was also in line with New Zealand employment law and had been checked by lawyers and unions when it was written. The contract is in large print, avoids jargon, and features pictures throughout.

Car-yard owner Ryan Durry said he was pleased with Mr McClunie's work, and found the contract useful.

"Having dealt with employment agreements before, this was really easy and clear-cut. Everyone is on the same page."

He was working to up-skill Mr McClunie to take on more responsibilities in car grooming.

Workstar works with more than 100 clients providing them ongoing support in the workforce in the Nelson Tasman region.

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- The Nelson Mail

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