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In response to the Disability Royal Commission’s “Employment Issues Paper” published on the 31st March, Disability Employment Services (DES) were mentioned with concerns raised about their design and implementation.

Below is the media release from the Disability Royal Commission, outlining the responses and reports on the matter:

Many responses to the Employment Issues Paper pointed out that the very service that was created to assist people with disability to find and keep a job, is falling short of what it was set up to do. The most frequently mentioned problems were a lack of support, poor client results, and clients being placed in jobs that did not match their skills, interests, or abilities.

The Royal Commission has also been told that DES are not reaching long-term results, with some job placements ending suddenly or only lasting for the length of government subsidies. They have explained that some DES providers focus resources on participants more likely to get a job, a concept sometimes called ‘creaming’; provide little assistance to more disadvantaged jobseekers, sometimes called ‘parking’; and then cycle or ‘churn’ participants through activities and providers without achieving long-term results.

Such practices can place young people with disability at increased risk of violence and abuse, and in some cases can drive exploitation, violence, and abuse. Some described how DES workers they dealt with lacked specific disability knowledge or qualifications and failed to act in the client’s best interest.

The sister of a woman with an intellectual disability from a culturally and linguistically diverse background said DES providers failed to communicate important information to her, set up inappropriate placements, and did not provide support. She said these issues were common across their experience of using five different DES providers. She also reported that most, if not all, of the employment resources provided for people with disability are only in English, the information is overwhelming and constantly changing, and this can make it difficult to understand.

The Royal Commission has also been told that often DES providers have high caseloads, are under-resourced and experience high staff turnover rates. Responses also described the administrative burden on service providers and huge compliance measures for people with disability.

For further information, you can access the media release on the Royal Commission website, here. 


Employment Issues Paper


Overview of Responses to the Employment Issues Paper


Issues Paper (Auslan) - Employment


Overview of Responses to the Employment Issues Paper (Auslan)


Disability Royal Commission 

Phone: 1800 517 199
Web: disability.royalcommission.gov.au 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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