Skip to main content

Public hearing 19: Measures taken by employers and regulators to respond to the systemic barriers to open employment for people with disability

The Royal Commission’s nineteenth public hearing will be held from 22-26 November 2021 (Public hearing 19). Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and impacts, all witnesses will participate remotely and the hearing will be conducted online. The hearing will not be open to the public but will be live streamed on the Royal Commission website.

Public hearing 19 continues the Royal Commission’s inquiries into the systemic barriers to open employment that started with Public hearing 9. Public hearing 9 was led by people with disability, who spoke about their experience in navigating pathways to open employment.

The objective of Public hearing 19 is to explore:

  • how public and private sector employers together with other key actors address the systemic barriers identified in Public hearing 9; and
  • potential measures to eliminate the barriers to open employment that cause or contribute to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.

At Public hearing 19, the Royal Commission will examine the public and private sector employers’ policies and practices for employment and retaining employees with disability. The issues to be examined at the hearing include:

  • experiences of people with disability in obtaining and retaining employment
  • the efficacy of the Australian Government’s overarching strategy in relation to increasing the employment of people with disability in safe and inclusive jobs
  • reasonable adjustments in the workplace, including policies and processes for provision of adjustments
  • what employers are doing to build inclusive workplaces, promote employment opportunities and support career advancement for people with disability
  • data collection, accountability and reporting by public and private sector employers
  • what workplace regulators are doing to provide information, resources and support to employers and people with disability in relation to employment issues
  • the operation of laws and institutions intended to protect people with disability at work, including anti-discrimination and employment law frameworks.

The focus of Public hearing 19 is open employment. The Royal Commission intends to further consider the Disability Employment Services program, and segregated employment settings, in later hearings and work of the Royal Commission.

Anyone who believes they have a direct and substantial interest in the subject matter of this hearing, as outlined in Practice Guideline 6, is able to make an application for leave to appear by 5.00pm Wednesday 3 November 2021. Late applications for leave to appear will be considered on a case by case basis.