Inquiry seeks to increase ACT employment rate of people with a disability

Efforts to increase the the employment of people with a disability in the ACT public sector will be the focus of a new inquiry. The Legislative Assembly’s health, ageing and community services committee has invited submissions ahead of a public hearing in May.

Human Rights Commission data shows the ACT disability employment rate of 2.2 per cent [458 people] is lower than all other jurisdictions except South Australia at 1.3 per cent. The federal public sector had 3.3 per cent of its workforce identified as disabled in 2015 and the ACT government’s own target was 3.4 per cent [655 employees].

An ABS survey in 2015 recorded that 15.8 per cent of people in the ACT had a disability. Across Australia, only 53.4 per cent of working-age people with disability were in the labour force compared with 83.2 per cent of people with no disability.

An ACT Legislative Assembly committee inquiry will look at increasing the employment of people with a disability. Photo: demaerre

The ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service has welcomed the inquiry.  Chief executive Fiona May said employment rates for people with disability should be in line with the general population.

“People with disability face a bias, essentially that people see they have a physical disability and become less interested in them as a candidate,” she said.

Ms May welcomed recent initiatives in the ACT public sector to lift disability employment, but expressed concern they were pilot measures and called for long-term sustainable strategies.

Originally Published by The Canberra Times, continue reading here.