Senior counsel assisting the royal commission, Kate Eastman, said the rates of employment among some of the large and iconic employers and brands in Australia was “disturbingly low”.
Just 1% of employees in Australia’s largest companies are people with disabilities – that is despite the fact that almost 20% of the population live with a disability. The unemployment rate among disabled Australians is 53.4%, and advocates say that is not just bad for those with a disability but for the
economy more broadly.
While Prue Hawkins was busy establishing her law firm, on the other side of the world, disability activist Caroline Casey was launching a global movement. She had one goal — to get 500 of the world’s biggest businesses to employ more people with disabilities.
A former disability discrimination commissioner says Australia needs to introduce employment quotas for those who are disabled. Graeme Innes AM told Tom Elliott it was the only thing that would work when it comes to inclusion. “We have been employed at a rate 30 per cent less than the general population, so 52 or 52 per cent, and that has not changed for three decades,” he said.
Television and advertising should lift the numbers of people with disabilities if Australia hopes to increase employment numbers, a Royal Commission has been told. 53.4% of people living with disabilities are unemployed in Australia, a figure which hasn’t lifted in decades.
Australians who have a disability are much less likely to be in work than someone without a disability. Join Christina Ryan, CEO and founder, Disability Leadership Institute and Robin Banks, former Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner and director, Equality Building, who argue we shouldn’t just look at the physical barriers and misconceptions that stop people getting a job, but also the lack of genuine career progression and the failure to promote more people with disability to the top of organisations.
“My disability is the reason that I’m not on a number of boards that I could have been on,” Innes told Pro Bono News. He said that while there had been moves in recent years to create more diverse boards, (particularly in the NFP sector), people with disabilities had been left out of the equation.
The annual Jobs Availability Snapshot examines how many entry-level jobs are available for job seekers with barriers to work – such as people with disability, those in remote areas, and people who didn’t finish year 12.
A good place to start is how nondisabled people can avoid giving unnecessary offense to people with disabilities. This may seem like a minor issue compared with larger structural barriers. But the best workplace disability policies and practices can be undone in a moment by thoughtless, corrosive remarks from coworkers.
It would be an 18-month search with many setbacks. “It was such a patronising experience,” Ms Chong said. “My skills, profession and my dignity were trampled all over. I’d learnt an important lesson though: It’s never a good time to disclose [a disability], but any delay will just complicate things further because it’s detrimental to building trust.”
A significant proportion of the workforce is balancing parenting and/or caring responsibilities. However, traditional workplace structures have failed to keep up with workers’ attempts to balance work and family life and leave behind outdated, gendered divisions of ‘breadwinner’ and ‘home-maker’. This snapshot report shares the results of a survey of 1500 Victorians about their experiences with flexible work during the pandemic and how employers can better support parents and carers in the post-COVID workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic compounded existing inequalities for workers with disability, leaving many of them feeling stretched, stressed and unfairly treated. However, the unprecedented move to remote and flexible work during the pandemic also created opportunities to better understand how flexible work arrangements can support people with disability to access and participate meaningfully in the workplace. … Continued
People with intellectual disability can thrive in open employment, but first they must be given a chance
Disability advocates have long pushed to get more people with intellectual disability into mainstream employment, given the better wages and greater sense of community involvement. But to turn things around, it’s important to first understand why it’s so difficult for people with intellectual disability to land a job.
Highly educated, but underestimated: How disability employment services fail tertiary qualified individuals
Trenbath says the disability employment provider seemed to only see her cerebral palsy, not her academic achievements and job skills. “They thought that because I was disabled that I was on welfare, and they didn’t need to find me a job, that they could just take their time,” Trenbath said. “I’ve never been on welfare and I don’t get any NDIS funding, so I have to work. I not only want to work, I need to work to be financially independent … I don’t want to rely on government funding.”
As a nation, Australia has one of the lowest disability employment rates among OECD members, sitting within the bottom ten, and campaigners have long called for robust action to improve the accessibility in workplaces across the country.