IncludeAbility Scheme to help Australians with a disability find employment. A new scheme called IncludeAbility has been launched with the purpose of giving employers tools that will create more meaningful employment opportunities for Australians who have a disability.

IncludeAbility was established by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett and aims on improving employment pathways, promoting access and inclusion, and changing how people with disability are perceived in the workplace.

“In Australia, there are 4.4 million people with disability, yet the employment participation rate of people with disability is 30% lower than people without disability. This difference in the level of participation has not changed for 20 years,” said Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett.

IncludeAbility scheme to help Australians. The scheme will also include a resource hub for employers and an Employer Network and an Ambassador Advisory Group.

“While many organizations have come a long way when it comes to focusing on diversity issues such as gender, cultural background and sexual orientation, it is vital that disability is also a key part of any diversity discussion,” said Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett.

The resource hub provides free information to help employers on topics including:

  • Creating an accessible and inclusive workplace
  • Customising a job for a person with disability
  • Hosting accessible and inclusive online meetings and events
  • Identifying as a person with disability in the workplace
  • Self-employment for people with disability
  • Identifying accessible and inclusive employers

IncludeAbility Scheme To Help Australians

Since the scheme’s announcement over a dozen private and public sector employers have signed up, some include; Australia Post, Woolworths, Kmart, Microsoft, Westpac, the Australian Public Service and the New South Wales Public Service. IncludeAbility’s Ambassador Advisory Group includes people with lived experience of disability from diverse employment backgrounds.

“I want people with disability of all ages and abilities to be confident in the knowledge that they can put their talents to work in Australia and obtain not just a job, but a good job,” said Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett.

46 Percent of Small Business Owners Admit to Mental Health Problems

Research published by MYOB earlier this year revealed that 46 percent of small and medium sized business owners believe that running their own business has directly contributed to feelings of depression or anxiety.

Furthermore, another 26 percent ranked mental health as an “immediate” problem in their daily life and workplace. These figures illustrate that the pandemic is taking a toll on small business leaders beyond the economic impacts imposed upon them by lockdowns and withdrawn federal support.

Of the business leaders surveyed, 52 percent reported feeling stress as a consequence of operating over the course of the last 12 months, these rules were up by 7 percentage points from the same period last year.

On top of these figures, 45 percent of respondents reported experiencing anxiety, and 26 percent experienced depression, up from 20 percent from the same period last year.

Levels of anxiety and stress surged highest among business leaders in the retail and hospitality sectors, as 68 percent of the business leaders working across these sectors reported to be feeling stress, while 45 percent reported having experienced feelings of depression and anxiety.

As Australia’s economy begins to recover, it is important that the country’s 2.29 million small businesses acknowledge the toll the last 18 months is likely to take on their mental health.

Although running a small business can be very rewarding it also comes with a lot of stressors and challenges at the best of times, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. 2020 was incredibly difficult for small businesses and the data shows owners and operators may be feeling its effects for some time to come.