The University of Melbourne
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Submission to the Employment and Discrimination Issues Paper, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Version 2 2021-06-08, 04:00
Version 1 2021-05-12, 00:43
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posted on 2021-06-08, 04:00 authored by ALEXANDRA DEVINE, Jennifer Smith-Merry, ANNE KAVANAGHANNE KAVANAGH, Gwynnyth Llewellyn, HELEN DICKINSON, Nicola Fortune, Celia Green, Stefanie DimovStefanie Dimov, Marie HuskaMarie Huska
This submission to the Disability Royal Commission in response to its Employment Issues paper, is made by Associate Professor Jennifer Smith-Merry and Research Fellow Alexandra Devine on behalf of investigators within the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The submission is further supported with contributions from colleagues external to the CRE-DH including Marie Huska and Stefanie Dimov (Disability and Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne), and, Dr Sue Olney (Melbourne Disability Institute, The University of Melbourne) .


Australia’s current and future labour market poses serious challenges for all job seekers, yet challenges are far greater for job seekers with disability who already experience significant labour market exclusion. Policy and programmatic responses must ensure job seekers with disability have equitable opportunities and appropriately resourced support to participate in the labour market on an equal basis with job seekers without disability. This should include both individual-level personalised support and macro-level labour market reform, reform of disability employment services and job creation programs.

In line with its obligations under Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Australia must safeguard and protect the rights of people with disability to equal opportunities for work and safe and healthy working conditions, and ensure they are protected from harm in the labour market on an equal basis with others. This responsibility should be actively supported by legislation and appropriate mechanisms and channels for reporting and collecting data on discrimination, violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in the labour market on the basis of disability

This submission was made on 14 August 2020.

Further information


NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health