I have worked at my local supermarket for 20 years. Last year I gained my independence and moved into a rental house with a friend. I needed to earn more money to help with rent and utility bills.
Early last year I received a commendation for my 20 years of service to the supermarket and was given a $400 bonus. Last month I received a certificate for employee of the month. When I asked for more hours of work to increase my wages I was told I was incapable of working longer hours as it might tire me too much. I have rarely taken time off work; I work eight hours a day four days a week and one day at the weekend at this supermarket.
I believe they are restricting my work hours because of my disability and a misguided idea I would get too tired. They praise me and call me a hard worker so I fail to understand why they cannot extend my hours which would help with my living expenses. I believe I am being discriminated against and I am not allowed to communicate with anyone at the supermarket openly.
I think an accessibility act would ensure fairer employment regulations and offer greater opportunities for disabled people to have equal employment choices.
This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.