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The reality of employment – from a parent’s point of view

Knowing the basics and what your rights are is not always enough. Nan Jensen has four children, two on the autism spectrum, who have had a variety of experiences in seeking and retaining employment. She provides some examples.

1)        My older son with ASD spent about nine months volunteering through Volunteering Waikato until he found employment close to where we live. This was seasonal employment so it ended. I found his next job through a contact – he has been there for five years.

On one hand, it is wonderful he has a job. On the other, he is still partially reliant on a benefit and does not get KiwiSaver as the employer is not obliged to provide this for casual workers. There was a two-week period where he lost his phone and had not informed his workplace. When they could not contact him they eventually contacted me – in an ordinary situation he might have been considered to have abandoned work – so it helped that they knew about his disability and knew me.

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