The case for change

Introduction

Employing people with disability in the Queensland public sector benefits not only those with living with disability, it also benefits the sector and the community we serve. There are clear business benefits to employing people with disability, from greater innovation and flexibility, and a workforce that builds and retains strong corporate knowledge delivering continuity and consistency.

Strategic

  • Increasingly, businesses and individuals expect employees of the public sector to be reflective of the community and want to interact with organisations that value diversity.
  • Having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community also produces programs and policies that consider the experiences and needs of people living with disability.
  • Actively valuing all abilities contributes to building corporate reputation through a clear demonstration of commitment and supports the goal of being an employer of choice.
  • If a third more people with disability worked instead of needing to depend on welfare in the next decade, Australia’s gross domestic product could increase by $43 billion 1.

Workforce planning

  • Our workforce is aging and as a direct result there will be an increase in disability(shared or not) amongst our workforce. 
  • Early loss of corporate knowledge as a result of not disabling the barriers may have an impact.
  • Workers who develop a medical condition will leave an employer without fully investigating the workplace adjustments that could have enabled them to remain at work—leading to a regrettable loss of talent and experience.
  • The 2015 Intergenerational Report highlighted that population ageing will place significantly more pressure on the Australian economy and that fully employing the working age population and maximising participation rates will become increasingly important.

Leadership

  • Leadership is tested, developed and enhanced by managing a diverse workforce.
  • A disability-confident workplace will strengthen leadership behaviours and flexible management practices.
  • Australia is lagging behind in employment outcomes for people with disability, which affects the economic security and independence of individuals and costs the community. As a government agency we should be leading the way.
  • Disability based discrimination accounts for a quarter (25.4 per cent) 2 of complaints and of which 60 percent occur at work or in seeking work.

Enhanced outcomes

  • Diverse workforces have been shown to increase the flow of ideas and ensure a broad range of perspectives to tackle complex challenges.
  • Evidencing compassion, care and support of employees leads to greater outputs and outcomes and enhances an employee’s strong desire to deliver.

1 Working differently: Empowering disability confidence report February 2018 p9

2 Working differently: Empowering disability confidence report February 2018 p9