Government aims to level the playing level for the disabled

AUSTRALIANS with a disability and those who care for them are being asked for their thoughts on what can be done to increase their workforce participation.

Employment Minister Bill Shorten released a new discussion paper outlining reforms to look at what could be done to boost the role of people with a disability in Australia's workforce.

Released to coincide with the International Day of People with a Disability, the paper outlines initiatives which could level the playing level for disabled people in the jobs market.

"We need a game changer to address the unconscious bias against people with disability in the Australian workforce," Mr Shorten said.

"Last month's labour force data shows that even in the face of ongoing global economic uncertainty there are more Australians in work than ever before."

Mr Shorten said employees with disabilities average better attendance rates, higher job retention and less occupational health and safety incidents than other employees.

"Despite this, only 54 in every 100 for people with disability are in employment, as opposed to 82 in every 100 people without disability," he said.

"Australians with disability deserve the right to an ordinary life."

The paper aims to create some discussion around workplace discrimination of people with a disability and their role in Australia's workforce.

"We must ensure that all Australians, regardless of disability, are able to find a job, earn a wage, enjoy the dignity of work and prosper from satisfying and rewarding careers," Mr Shorten said.

Copies of the discussion paper are available at: or on request to:

Topics:  bill shorten disability employment workforce

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