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Royal Commission looks at employment of people with disability

The latest issues paper published by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability looks at the experiences of people with disability in employment.

In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, found just over half, 53.4 per cent of people with disability were in the labour force, compared with 84.1 per cent of people without disability.

It found the median gross income for a person with disability aged 15 to 64 years was $505 per week, less than half the $1,016 per week of a person without disability.

The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC is encouraging people with disability, advocates, organisations and experts to provide responses to the issues paper to help inform the work of the Royal Commission. ‘We want to understand why people with disability are less likely to be employed and have lower incomes than people without disability.

‘We also want to understand why First Nations people with disability experience higher rates of unemployment than non-Indigenous people with disability.

‘Our issues paper seeks to identify the barriers to employment that may prevent financial independence and other benefits associated with work, including dignity, a sense of purpose and social connectedness,’ said the Chair.

The issues paper seeks information about people’s experiences of discrimination at work.

It asks whether specific programs designed to increase the employment of people with disability are easy to access, how well they assist people to find and keep a job, and whether any changes need to be made.

The Royal Commission is encouraging employers to provide information about their experiences with these programs and whether they help in employing and retaining people with disability.

The Royal Commission wants to hear about people’s experiences across a wide range of employment settings including paid work, independent contracting, self-employment or apprenticeships as well as segregated employment settings and community based enterprises in First Nations communities.

It wants to hear about the particular experiences of women with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people, including migrants with disability, and LGBTIQ people with disability.