A4's submission to DSS on employment services

A4 provided the submission below in response to the DSS Discussion Paper (see https://engage.dss.gov.au/disability-emp...). A4's submission starts out saying:

The opening sentence of the Minister’s Foreword to the discussion paper says:

The Australian Government is committed to improving employment outcomes for people with disability and getting more people with disability into jobs.

Unfortunately, government does not seem to understand what this means. In terms of “getting more people with disability into jobs”, there is a strong supply of people with disability, especially autistic people, but a chronic lack of jobs. Yet government focuses on people with disability, not on creating jobs.

Government needs to focus on jobs for people with disability, and in particular, jobs for autistic people.

Government talks about “mutual obligation” but means that only people with disability have any obligation. Government does not take on its obligation to develop jobs for people with disability.

Government promotes competition and productivity in the economy. But its economic approaches simply ignore the economic effect on people who do not compete effectively in employment. This is incomplete or just bad economics.

Government needs to better understand and address the consequences of prioritising competition and productivity in its economic programmes. It needs to stop blaming vulnerable people and to recognise that abysmal employment rates for people with disability is an outcome of its economic agenda and a challenge of its own making.

Government has responsibility for the lack of jobs for people with disability. Government needs to address this responsibility properly. It’s time to step up.

Internationally, increasing discussion of Universal Basic Income is a response to some aspects of changing employment landscapes. It’s not just about robotics and increasing automation; those are just part of government's drive for efficiency, competition and productivity. While governments in Australia omit the impact of their policies on employment for people with disability from their planning and policy development, employment outcomes for people with disability will remain “challenging”.

Nor does government help by calling vulnerable people with disability rorters, bludgers and leaners. Employers do not want to employ people like that.

If the Minister is really about “getting more people with disability into jobs” then he needs innovation in creating jobs for people with disability, including jobs for autistic people.

Unfortunately, the discussion paper has the wrong focus.

The following submission is in two parts:

  1. some comments about the discussion paper under headings from the discussion paper, and
  2. responses to the discussion points in the discussion paper.


Download the submission (link below) to see the rest of it ... 

PDF icon 20161207EmploymentSubmissionFinal.pdf272.92 KB