The government's moves to reform incapacity benefit and encourage rehabilitation does not go far enough, warned rehabilitation provider IPRS chief executive David Bingham.
While the promise to provide support and encouragement for those taking up rehabilitation and work preparation was a "step in the right direction", Bingham said he was concerned that the proposals were simply "a good sound bite".
He said the government was merely "tinkering at the edges of the problem" of incapacity benefit.
He called on the government to introduce tax incentives to help employers provide rehabilitation facilities for their employees.
First Assist chief executive Tim Ablett welcomed the move, but expressed concern that the change was "shutting the stable door when the horse has bolted or taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut". The most effective rehab means day-one intervention and case management, said Ablett.
"The government and major employers need to take responsibility at a very early stage to provide appropriate treatment to get these people back in the workplace."