Employment restrictions

People with disability who have specific restrictions related to employment can face additional challenges finding or keeping employment.

Not all people with disability have employment restrictions and a person’s level of restriction may differ from their level of limitation in other life areas. For example:

  • two-thirds (67%) of working-age people with severe or profound disability have severe or profound employment restriction
  • 1 in 5 (21%) have mild or moderate employment restriction
  • 12% have no employment restriction.

Many (65%) working-age people with disability have 1 or more employment restrictions. Of those, the most common types are:

  • restricted in type of job (50%)
  • permanently unable to work because of conditions (41%)
  • difficulty changing jobs or getting a preferred job (40%)
  • restricted in number of hours (32%)
  • need for time off work (22%).

The types of restrictions reported by working-age people with disability differ by labour force status (Figure 1).

More than one-third (35%) of working-age people with disability have no employment restriction. Almost one-third (32%) of this group are not in the labour force (Table 1).

Table 1: Working-age people with disability(a), by labour force status and severity of employment restriction, 2015 (%)

Labour force status

Severe or profound

Mild or moderate

No employment restriction

Total

Employed

7.0

73.0

64.9

48.1

Unemployed

5.3

7.2

3.5

5.3

Not in the labour force

87.8

19.8

31.5

46.6

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Total (across severity)

33.3

31.5

35.1

100.0

(a) Aged 15–64 living in households.

Source: ABS 2016; see also Table S6.

Around one-third (31%) of working-age people with disability have mild or moderate employment restriction (Table 1). This group is the most likely to be employed (73%, compared with 65% with no employment restriction and 7% with severe or profound restriction.

One-third (33%) of working-age people with disability have severe or profound employment restriction (Table 1). This group is the most likely to not be in the labour force (88%, compared with 32% with no employment restriction and 20% with mild or moderate restriction).

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of TableBuilder.