Willing to Work

by Australian Human rights Commission



Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

Project implemented: 2 May 2016

Project goal

To examine discriminatory employment practices, attitudes and laws affecting older Australians; recommend changes and action

delivering on

why is this project important?

The Commission’s aim is that the findings and recommendations will spark action and commitment to lift labour force participation of older people and people with disability

Key steps to make it happen

1National Inquiry

2The Report

56 recommendations, 72 examples of good practice from employers, and 44 case studies outlining individual experiences


The Commission is implementing a number of recommendations directly as well as facilitating projects with other stakeholders

1. Increased awareness of older people’s rights by a range of interested parties
2. Increased engagement by relevant stakeholders
3. Development of projects that are now underway

The right to work, free from discrimination on any basis, is a fundamental human right. Too many older Australians and Australians with disability are denied this right and are thus prevented from enjoying the independence, dignity and sense of purpose that work brings.

Willing to Work was the first national inquiry into this employment discrimination.

The Commission conducted 120 public consultations with stakeholders between July 2015 and February 2016. The related research found that discrimination contributes to higher absenteeism, lower productivity, higher staff turnover and increased recruitment costs, as well as lost business opportunities from abandoning experience and corporate knowledge.

As a result of the inquiry, the Commission proposed recommendations for change, including evidence-based solutions based on initiatives that are already in place and producing results in some workplaces.

The report was released in May 2016.

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