Disability Employment Australia. Represent, Support, Resource

Media Releases

Human capital wasted

Disability Employment Australia welcomes the findings from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s latest report, Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability.

The Inquiry confirms that too many people are denied employment because of discrimination based on their age or disability. This discrimination – often in the form of attitudinal barriers, underlying assumptions, stereotypes and myths – has consequences for individuals, workplaces, our economy, and our wider society.

In the Inquiry, The Hon Susan Ryan AO, Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, states that workplace discrimination “undermines basic human rights with consequences that are devastating and tragic.”

“From a broader economic perspective, employment discrimination is also a huge waste of human capital.”

The Inquiry’s core strength is its wide ranging recommendations. Of particular note for our sector is the recognition of DES providers’ capacity to assist young people with disability transition from school to work. Disability Employment Australia is pleased that the Inquiry recognised the need and value of aligning the future of disability employment assistance to the NDIS principles. We trust that the Government endorse the recommendations and that deliberate, concerted and immediate action springs from this comprehensive work.

Disability Employment Australia’s CEO, Rick Kane, commends the work of the Inquiry and urges a broad national approach to reducing discrimination and therefore increasing participation of people with disability and older Australians looking for work and in employment.

Disability Employment Australia looks forward to working alongside employers and the government to address workplace discrimination and remove barriers for labour force participation of people with disability.