Business Council of Australia (BCA) Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott will today launch Recognising Ability: Business and the Employment of People with Disability, a report which looks at the role business can play in driving greater workforce participation and inclusion for people with disability.
“Inclusion, diversity and flexible work practices aren’t just fashionable concepts, they are at the heart of workplaces of the future. Those workplaces need to be designed to unlock the best in all Australians,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“One in five Australians has a disability, and many more live with or care for someone with disability, 15 per cent of our working age population have a disability. That’s 2.2 million people, of which almost half were not in the labour force in 2012.
“For people with disability, employment is not just about a job. It’s about being valued, useful and included. For business, it’s in their best interest to have access to diverse talent and a workforce that’s inclusive of the community,” Ms Westacott said.
The report also highlights the findings of an inaugural survey of BCA member companies which found that:
• 75 per cent of companies have a plan or strategy regarding employing people with disability, 60 per cent had this included in their overall diversity strategy.
• One-third of companies actively seek to employ people with disability.
• 93 per cent of companies have a strategy to recognise and support mental health issues in the workplace.
The report also identifies what practices BCA member companies were adopting to employ and retain people with disability such as:
• Having a targeted recruitment strategy.
• Dedicated resources.
• External partnerships with specialist organisations to source talent.
• Developing a business case.
• Building confidence in managers to manage and recruit people with disability.
“We want to highlight leading practice, share common success factors, and identify common barriers,” said Ms Westacott.
“Recognising Ability: Business and the Employment of People with Disability highlights the benefits to businesses when they look at accessibility in their recruitment process through the prism of what someone needs to do their job, not what the barriers are.
“I hope this report helps create momentum to the conversation about workforce accessibility and inclusion,” Ms Westacott said.