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Addressing ableism in workplace policies and practices: The case for disability standards in employment

Penelope S Scott,

Academic Literature


In Australia, the issue of disability in the workplace is on the policy agenda. The National Disability Strategy (2010-2020) sets out a broad policy framework for improving the lives of persons with disabilities in a range of areas including employment. A priority of the strategy is to increase access to jobs to ensure economic security for persons with disabilities. Anti-discrimination laws were previously introduced to ensure people with disabilities fair access to jobs, but these laws have been criticised for failing to address systemic discrimination entrenched in workplace policies and practices. Official statistics indicate there is a significant and concerning difference in labour force participation rates between people with disabilities and those without disabilities. Part of the difficulty is that the 'Disability Discrimination Act 1992' (Cth) (DDA) enshrines the high level principle of non-discrimination without providing specific guidance as to the obligations of employers. A more standardised approach could help address ableism in workplace policies and practices by ensuring people know their legal rights and responsibilities.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Flinders Law Journal

Domain/s: Economic participation

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