18 October 2022
Life Without Barriers has launched the organisation’s Access Inclusion and Employment Plan (AIEP), cementing its commitment to improving employment opportunities for people with disability across Australia over the next three years.
Central to Life Without Barriers' commitment is a goal for 15% of its workforce, at all levels, comfortably identifying as having lived experience of disability within the next three years.
Life Without Barriers Chief Executive, Claire Robbs said bold and accountable measures are needed for there to be an impactful change in the employment barriers for people with disability.
“The barriers people with disability face in accessing fair and equitable employment are barriers we create in society. It is incumbent upon us to eradicate the unconscious bias and misconceptions about people with disability in the workforce.” Ms Robbs said.
“Life Without Barriers is to continue offering a great place to work for everyone by embracing the individual skills, perspectives, and experiences our people bring to the workplace.”
“Our goal of 15% of our workforce comfortably identifying with a disability is an indication of our commitment to ensure our workforce represents our community at all levels within our organisation.
The Life Without Barriers AIEP also commits to extending the organisation’s commitments to its services to people with disability in supported independent living and younger Australians.
“Beyond our workforce, we intend to expand the support we provide now to NDIS participants and young people with disability. It is deeply concerning that young people with disability are not entering the workforce for close to 8 years after finishing their education.”
As a top industry for employment growth, the care and support sector can set an example for government and corporate employers by employing people with a disability.”
Despite a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.5% (August 2022), the rate of unemployment for working-aged people with a disability remains double that of the general population.
“We know that the majority of working-age people with disabilities do not require additional support or time off work because of their disability, yet we continually see this group under-represented in that labour market,” Ms Robbs said.
“We will achieve the targets set out in the AIEP by leveraging our resources, experience and scale to enhance our workforce practices and lobby and encourage all Australian employers to do the same.”
The AIEP outlines 66 actions to improve access and inclusion within the organisation, for the people Life Without Barriers serve and within the communities in which they work and live. This includes enhancing the organisations’ leadership role in the sector, attracting and recruiting people with disability and having robust processes for adjusting work for individuals with a disability.