Monday, 14 December 2015 12:36

Submissions to Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission recently made two submissions into the Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability.

The first submission addresses the employment of people with disabilities in Victoria. This submission addresses the questions outlined in the discussion paper, Employment discrimination against Australians with disability, with a focus on the Victorian legal context, complaints data on disability discrimination and barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

The Commission outlines a series of recommendations at the conclusion of this submission with respect to:

  • Policies, workplace practices and programs for all employers including developing Disability Action Plans, equal opportunity policies and recruitment and workplace policies that support the needs of people with disabilities.
  • Education programs for employers across all sectors and recruitment agencies regarding their legal obligations under anti-discrimination legislation and available government initiatives to support the employment of people with disabilities.
  • Leadership by Governments in actively employing people with disabilities within the Public Service; establishing a disability employment advocacy body; and expanding eligibility criteria for the Employment Assistance Fund to include volunteers with disabilities and remove minimum working hours requirements.
  • Law reform to introduce a direct cause of action under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) and inclusion of a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in anti-discrimination legislation across all Australian jurisdictions.

The second submission addresses the employment of older people in Victoria. This submission addresses the questions outlined in the discussion paper, Employment discrimination against older Australians, with a focus on the Victorian legal context, complaints data on age discrimination and barriers to employment for older people.

The Commission outlines a series of recommendations at the conclusion of this submission with respect to:

  • Policies, workplace practices and programs for all employers including equal opportunity policies and recruitment and workplace policies that support the needs of older people.
  • Education and awareness-raising programs for older people regarding their rights in employment and promotion of existing programs to support older people in employment.
  • Improved access to current training programs for older job seekers and employees.
  • Education programs for employers and recruitment agencies regarding their obligations under anti-discrimination legislation.
  • Expanding eligibility for the Employment Assistance Fund to include older people aged 45 and over who would benefit from the program.
  • Law reform to introduce a direct cause of action under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic); inclusion of a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in anti-discrimination legislation across all Australian jurisdictions; and to make it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of “irrelevant convictions” within anti-discrimination law around the nation.

Read the submissions:

 

 

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