Legislative Council: Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Disability Employment

In reply to the Hon. H.M. GIROLAMO ().23 February 2023).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I am advised:

1. According to the most recent Workforce Information Report published by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (OCPSE), employees living with a declared disability in the South Australian public sector totalled 1,551 people as at 30 June 2022. This represents 1.37 per cent of the total workforce, and was an overall increase of 34 employees compared to 30 June 2021.

The true level of disability employment may be higher because the workforce data relies on employees self-nominating their status. The anonymous 2021 I Work for SA Your Voice survey, which asked employees about their disability status, indicates there is a degree of under-reporting, with 5 per cent of the sample group declaring that they live with disability.

OCPSE will publish updated workforce information, including employment of employees living with disability, at the end of 2023.

2. In her annual State of the Sector report, the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has repeatedly highlighted the need to lift the employment of people living with disability in the public sector.

Agencies are also required by the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 to report on what they have done to improve access to employment opportunities.

OCPSE is assisting agencies to increase employment of people with disability. The Disability Employment Toolkit provides practical resources for agencies to promote the recruitment and retention of people with disability. This has been supported by the delivery of disability awareness and inclusion training across the sector.

Improving data on public sector employees living with disability is a key priority. OCPSE has updated the pre-employment declaration to encourage new public sector employees to self-nominate existing disabilities. Work will continue with agencies to increase the confidence of employees to self-disclose disability data.

Public sector employees living with disability are eligible for scholarships to attend the Governor's Leadership Program to help them advance their careers.

3. A target for the employment of people with disability in the public sector is being considered for inclusion in the draft South Australian Public Sector Inclusion Strategy 2023-25. The strategy is expected to be launched in 2023.