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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 4 > Inquiry submission to support older workers and those with disability

Inquiry submission to support older workers and those with disability

disability.jpgAn Inquiry is currently underway to investigate employment opportunities for older workers and those with disability.

Our union is currently preparing a submission in response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Willing to Work: A National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australian and Australians with Disability

The Inquiry will examine practices, attitudes and Commonwealth laws that deny or diminish equal participation in employment of older Australians and Australians with disability. 

It will also make recommendations for Commonwealth laws that should be amended, or action that should be taken to address employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability. 

IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the Inquiry is important to understand the factors and barriers preventing older Australians and those with disability from seeking and securing work which they are qualified to perform. 

“The onus is on employers to recognise the skills and experience older workers can provide as well as enhance diversity in a range of roles across all sectors,” Mr Burke said. 

“It is important to ensure access for those with disability is sustained and those with valuable skills do not miss out on opportunities in the workforce,” he said.

Mr Burke said that while about a quarter of the population is older, they only make up less than 20 per cent of the workforce. 

“When it comes to Australians with disability, they make up 15 per cent of the working age population, but only 10 per cent of them have jobs.”  

According to the Age and Disability Commissioner Susan Ryan, the Inquiry aims to consult as widely as possible with older Australians, Australians with disability, their carers and their families. 

Willing to Work is most timely as employment rates for both older people and those with disability remain unacceptably low,” Commissioner Ryan said. 

A report on the Inquiry findings and recommendations is expected in July 2016.  

Further information about the inquiry, including discussion papers released by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), can be found on their website.

IEUA-QNT representatives attended a public hearing in September and are now consulting with members in order to hear their views, experiences and suggestions for change.  

The IEUA-QNT submission is due on 4 December 2015.  Members who would like to contribute to our submission are asked to contact our Research Officer, Adele Schmidt at aschmidt@qieu.asn.au 


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.