A company that employed a blind woman on $2.30 an hour to untangle Air New Zealand headphones admits it has made "a mistake".
Martin Wylie, chief executive of Altus Enterprises, an organisation the provides work for people with disabilities, said the worker was referred to them by the Blind Foundation.
"We made a mistake in employing her...because in fact her financial circumstances meant despite being blind, she was not receiving a benefit," Wylie said.
"We should have dug deeper into her affairs. But I guess it ended well for her due to the exposure in the media."
The woman, who did not want to be named, was offered work on minimum wage as a baker at another company, Cookie Project, following a Herald report about her plight.
The Cookie Project which currently employed 20 people with disabilities was expanding and taking on more visually impaired staff.
But Wylie said he remained confident that when people visited the company "with an open mind", they would be convinced about the merit of what it was doing.
"We have an open door policy which encourages people to visit us and see our operation and meet our employees."
There are currently 975 minimum wage exemptions issued by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to allow businesses to legally pay disabled employees below the $17.70 adult minimum wage.
The scheme is currently under review, and Wylie said any changes could see employees lose their jobs.
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"Being required to pay equal pay for unequal work poses similar threats to our employees' future work participation," Wylie added.
Some parents of disabled employees at Altus have invited leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges to visit the enterprise in their bid to keep the current system.
The exemption scheme has been described by Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni as "discriminatory".
The Government's announcement in this year's Wellbeing Budget that benefit payments would rise in line with wages and not inflation was welcomed by many disability advocates.
However, IHC advocacy director Trish Grant said she was disappointed with some of the funding allocation.
"The spending on Ministry of Health's Disability Support Services is around $7 million less than they estimated that actually spent last year, so they plan to cut $7 million from actual spending," Grant said.
National's workplace relations spokesman Scott Simpson called on the Government to be "more creative" in its spending to keep disabled workers in their jobs.
"Our concern is that people are not being ripped off but also that their jobs are not sacrificed either," Simpson said.
"There's nothing to be gained at all by having these jobs disappear, least of all for the disabled people currently doing the work."
Bridges confirmed he would visit Altus on June 10.
"If they were a truly caring Government that was really focused on wellbeing they would find a way to ensure that work opportunities for disabled people were expanded not reduced," Simpson added.
"That means they need to be creative about funding so that disabled people can still do the work they enjoy but that their employers are not financially disadvantaged because they employed disabled people."
Donna Bainbridge said she would take time off to meet Bridges on the day to explain how her intellectually disabled son was benefiting from working at Altus.
Elizabeth Bruen, whose disabled brother works at another social enterprise, Abilities, wrote to the Prime Minister asking for the proposed reforms to be considered carefully.
"My concern is that the reforms are being promoted by people with no real understanding of the people who are going to be affected," Bruen wrote.
"The intellectually disabled people who benefit from these organisations have no voice and stand to have their lives ruined."