Disability woman in wheelchair

The National Retail Association (NRA) has joined forces with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to launch the Ready and Able project. This project was devised to assist employers develop inclusive hiring practices, with resources and information to encourage employing a person with a disability.

Dominique Lamb, CEO of the National Retail Association said with over 4.4 million people in Australia having some form of disability, it is important for retailers to have the resources necessary for equal opportunity employment in the workforce.

“The retail industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, however as retail makes a comeback and employment starts up again, employers should consider applicants of all backgrounds and capabilities.”

People aged between 15 and 64 years with disability have both lower labour force participation (53.4%) and higher unemployment rates (10.3%) than people without disability (84.1% and 4.6% respectively).

“There are so many benefits to employing someone with a disability, and of the 2.1 million Australians of working age with a disability just under half are employed (47.8), compared with 80.3% of people without a disability.

The Ready and Able web portal provides employers with resources including education surrounding workplace laws, protections and information to guide employers on the best practice when employing a person with a disability.

Ms Lamb said, the information provided on this website will help retail employers when considering employing a person with a disability, and overcome any blockages they may be encountering.

“If we are able to provide the steps and resources, and inform both employees and employers of the workplace laws when hiring someone with a disability, we are certain we can make a positive impact on equal employment and inclusivity.”

This Project was launched alongside the Ready and Able Hotline, a free service for any employers looking to discuss disability employment with our workplace law experts. The hotline number is 1800 445 522 and will be available during business hours, Monday to Friday.

For more information, retailers should visit readyandable.com.au.