Inclusive employment for women with disability

The Victorian Government recently partnered with Women with Disabilities Victoria to fund an employment program supporting women with disability to secure work in health, social and disability services. Women with disability bring unique and valuable skills and lived experience to these roles. Abigail passed a call in Parliament for the NSW Government to take action in this area to support women with disability in NSW.

(1) That this House acknowledges the launch of the employment project by Women with Disabilities Victoria and the Victorian Government, which was launched in early November 2023 which: 

(a) supports women with disabilities to secure work in the health, social and disability service workforce in recognition of the valuable skills, qualifications, expertise and lived experience that women with disabilities can bring to these industries, and

(b) will receive funding from the Victorian Government for a two-year project, following the success of the state funded Sharing Our Expertise - Building Employer Confidence to Employ Women with Disabilities program. 

(2) That this House notes that:

(a) women, girls and non-binary people with disability face disproportionate barriers to employment, education and accessing vital services, and there is a significant lack of data collection in NSW in relation to these barriers identified in the final report of the Disability Royal Commission,  

(b) nationally, the rate of labour force participation between men and women with disabilities has been disparate for decades, with more men with disability employed in the labour force than women,

(c) the NSW Labor Government has committed to the NSW target of having 5.6 percent of public sector jobs filled by people with disability by 2025. Former NSW Governments have failed to meet this target with the actual percent of people with disability in the public sector declining since 2013 and currently sitting at 2.5 percent according to the NSW Public Service Commission,

(d) peak disability advocacy organisations have long been calling for government investment in breaking down barriers to employment for people with disability, in relation to the public sector as well as the private sector, and

(e) the Disability Royal Commission made several comprehensive recommendations for inclusive employment, including that:

(i) state and territory governments adopt specific and disaggregated targets to increase the public sector proportion of employees with disability at entry, graduate and executive levels and employees with cognitive disability, which are supported by clear employment pathways into the relevant public services, measures and programs to support recruitment and progression and the provision of adequate supports,

(ii) state and territory government departments and agencies should be required to establish overarching targets of people with disability comprising at least 7 percent of the public sector workforce by 2025, and at least 9 percent by 2030, and 

(iii) state and territory governments adopt procurement policies that favour businesses and entities who demonstrate they provide employment opportunities for people with disability in open, inclusive and accessible settings, including people with intellectual and cognitive disability. 

(3) That this House calls on the NSW Government to urgently prioritise targeted investment in improving employment outcomes for people with disability. 

Read the transcript in Hansard here.

Join 50,429 other supporters in taking action