Diversity Staff Networks
You, or other staff in your workplace may come from many unique backgrounds, each bringing your own stories and experiences. The Education Directorate has several staff networks in place to support certain diversity cohorts, with more to get up and running soon. The networks currently available to join are listed below:
|Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Staff Network||Must identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander||Email: EDUDCI@act.gov.au|
|Education Pride Network||Open to those who identify as LGBTIQ+ and/or allies||Email: EDUPrideNetwork@act.gov.au|
|Disability Advocacy Group||Must identify as experiencing the impacts of disability||Email: EDUDCI@act.gov.au|
Supporting a Diverse Workforce (sub-heading)
Working towards culturally safe workplaces requires developing a specific knowledge set of diversity cohorts, including knowledge of the causes and effects of unconscious bias. If you or one of your colleagues lacks a complete understanding of a cohort, or is hesitant to ask questions about these groups for fear of causing offence, see if you can find materials to help them, or refer them to the ACTPS Training Calendar for awareness training opportunities.
Some helpful resources for diversity in the ACT Public Service can be found in the ACTPS Employment Portal:
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Inclusion: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/employment-framework/inclusion-programs/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-employment
- Disability Inclusion: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/employment-framework/inclusion-programs/disability-employment
- LGBTIQ+ Inclusion: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/employment-framework/inclusion-programs/lgbti-inclusion
- Veterans Inclusion: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/employment-framework/inclusion-programs/veterans-employment
Employing People with Disability
One in five Australians lives with a disability. Yet, people with a disability in Australia are only half as likely to be employed compared with people without a disability. This represents a vast pool of talent, which employers can tap into to enhance workplace diversity and overcome labour shortages.
With a little forethought, employing people with a disability is as straight forward as engaging any employee.
The Education Directorate values diversity within its workforce. We have set a disability employment rate of 3.4%. Currently it is 1.7%.
Access and Inclusion Employment Action Plan 2019-2023
The Action Plan embeds and celebrates diversity in the workforce by acknowledging, valuing and supporting people with disability through tangible action focussing on inclusive workspaces, recruitment, retention, leadership, collaboration and capability building. The Action Plan will also support students with disability to transition into the workforce by promoting best-practice and providing employment pathways.
Benefits for the Employer
More and more organisations are recognising the business benefits, beyond the right thing to do or compliance with legislation, of employing people with disability, including:
- Attracting and retaining staff by tapping into a broader talent pool - people with disability bring a diverse range of skills and abilities as well as new and valuable perspectives to the workplace. People with disability also generally stay in jobs longer than other workers.
- Strengthening workplace morale and productivity through a more committed and diverse workplace.
- Enhancing your reputation and brand. According to a University of Massachusetts survey, 92% of the American public view companies that hire people with disability more favourably than those that do not. 87% of the public also agree that they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disability.
Benefits for the Employee
- Work is the pathway used by most Australians to long-term economic security. Income from employment increases financial independence and raises living standards.
- Employment contributes to physical and mental health, personal wellbeing, and a sense of identity
What Are My Options as an Employer?
The ACT Public Service has established multiple pathways and programs to assist and support work areas.
For more information go to Recruiting People with Disability (168 kb)
What Steps Do I Need to Take for an Employee with a Disability?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for a person with disability who:
- applies for a job, is offered employment, or is an employee, and
- requires the adjustments in order to participate in the recruitment process or perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the job.
Many employees with disability will not need any workplace adjustments. Some may need only minor changes or adjustments to their work hours or the performance requirements of the job, while others may require specific equipment or some structural change to the workplace.
Employers can apply for funding support through the Employment Assistance Fund – an Australian Government scheme – to help cover the cost of accommodating workers with disability.
What Help Is Available?
General information can be found at JobAccess, the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers, and service providers.