New Inquiry into Jobs
22 June 2015 at 11:15 am
Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, has invited individuals, employers and representative organisations to join a national conversation about employment for older people and people with disability.
Ryan said she hopes that Willing to Work, the new national inquiry being conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission would be a landmark event in changing work opportunities for older people and people with disability.
“The Attorney General Senator Brandis has asked me to conduct a wide ranging inquiry into the barriers that unfairly discriminate and stop capable older people and people with disability from getting access to the jobs they are qualified for,” Ryan said.
“We already know that there are hundreds of thousands of such Australians who are willing to work, but prevented by unfair discrimination.
“We know that there are jobs available in many sectors and many parts of Australia, yet employers in general are not looking to fill these vacancies with experienced and skilled workers, or those qualified people with a disability.
“My objective with this Inquiry is to produce a report that will set out practical steps for the way forward.”
Ryan said it was important to find out from employer “what is holding them back”.
“This is a human rights issue; we all have the right to work. It is a massive economic issue for Australia, as the cost of supporting individuals who are unfairly blocked out of work is ever rising,” she said.
“It is a community issue. We know that having a job gives us a sense of purpose, provides financial independence, gives us access to social networks, and contributes to cohesive communities.”
Ryan encouraged job seekers to also share their insight.
“We need individuals who have experienced this kind of discrimination to tell us what happened and how things should change,” she said.
“We want employers large and small, across the private and public sectors to lay out their concerns and requirements.
“Finding ways to get rid of the barriers of discrimination would be an unqualified benefit for all of us. It would result in a more widespread exercise of people’s rights, strengthen our economy and make Australia a better a fairer place.”
The issues papers are now available online.
In this week's Changemaker column, former Disability Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, questioned the need for the inquiry.