A PUBLIC consultation has been launched for proposals on how to boost employment participation for people with disability.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten announced at International Day of People with Disability function (December 3) that the government is examining policy reform to increase employment participation and eliminate workplace discrimination for people with disability.

“We need a game changer to address the unconscious bias against people with disability in the Australian workforce,” Mr Shorten said.

“Last month’s labour force data shows that even in the face of ongoing global economic uncertainty there are more Australians in work than ever before. Employees with disability have, on average, better attendance rates, higher job retention and fewer occupational health and safety incidents than other employees.

“Despite this, only 54 in every 100 for people with disability are in employment, as opposed to 82 in every 100 people without disability. Australians with disability deserve the right to an ordinary life.”

A recent study by Deloitte Access Economics found that if the gap in the participation rate and unemployment rate for people with and without disability could be reduced by one-third and phased in over the next decade, the cumulative impact on GDP over the next decade would be $43 billion.

The discussion paper, Improving Employment Participation of People with Disability, seeks public views on how to best achieve reform, including:

  • Improving equality for people with disability in employment and in the workplace;
  • Promoting among employers the elimination of discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability; and
  • Improving the productivity and competitiveness of Australian business through the advancement of people with disability in the workplace.

Copies of the discussion paper are available here.