Disability and accessibility
The NSW public sector is the largest employer in Australia with approximately 400,000 employees. As one in five people in NSW have disability, we need to ensure we have a workforce that is representative of our population and that leverages a large and diverse pool of talented candidates. We want to encourage full participation from people with disability in our workforce, and to retain staff that may acquire disability during the course of their employment.
How we’re doing
Based on the 2016 Workforce Profile Report, 2.8% of NSW public sector employees identified as having disability. Some progress has been made with commencement rates for people with disability in the NSW public sector being the highest in six years. Many employees also choose not to share their disability information. Factors that contribute to this include perceived social stigma, fear of discrimination, or the irrelevance of disability to the work performed.
There is more to be done to increase the representation and inclusion of people with disability in our workforce. We’ve developed several initiatives to create an equitable work environment for people with disability in the NSW public sector. These initiatives are aimed at improving workplace culture and removing barriers, as well as ensuring we are working in partnership with people with disability.
Select an initiative below to find out more:
Disabling the Barriers
The NSW Public Service Commission worked in collaboration with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services to research the employment situation of people with disability in the NSW government sector. The Disabling the Barriers report was developed using first hand interviews with employees with disability, managers and HR practitioners as well as workforce data to understand and present a picture of the experience of people with disability in our workforce.
This research has informed the areas of focus on disability employment for the NSW public sector.
Disability Employment Advisory Committee and Sub-Group
The NSW Public Service Commission and the Department of Family and Community Services are working with the Disability Employment Advisory Committee and Sub-Group to inform our initiatives.
The Committee consists of disability-focussed organisations, as well as members from the private sector and academia. The Sub-Group consists of employees with disability from across the NSW public sector. Both groups provide advice and progress initiatives to improve the representation and inclusion of people with disability in the NSW public sector.
Improving workforce culture
The Public Service Commission is working to improve workforce culture across the sector by reinvigorating employee networks, promoting flexible working on an “if not, why not” basis, and raising awareness of the contribution people with disability make to our workforce.
Stereotypes and myths about disability can limit opportunities for people to fully participate in work and the community.
Accessible recruitment processes and workplace adjustments
In recruiting new talent, our goal is to match the right person with the right capabilities to the right job. We are developing recruitment processes that are fair and inclusive and incorporate accessibility to enable people with disability to have equal opportunity to apply for roles within the NSW public sector. We are also establishing workplace adjustment processes that support timely and effective adjustments to remove barriers in the workplace for individuals.
Disability Inclusion Action Plans
Departments are also required to develop Disability Inclusion Action Plans. The plans set out the actions Departments will take to improve access for people with disability to supports and services available in the community. This includes addressing aspects such as employment, attitudes and behaviours, and systems and processes. The NSW Department of Family and Community Services is leading this work.
The Public Service Commission is also a proud member of the Australian Network on Disability, one of the leading disability employment organisations in Australia.