• Urgent action is required in the state sector, led by the State Services Commission which includes:
o Adequate data capture so that progress can be monitored and is transparent
o Special measures (affirmative action programmes) with targets to increase the numbers of disabled people into decent employment in the public service.
o Target setting for major public service departments to improve the employment of disabled people. This is required by Article 27 (1) (g) by the CRPD that New Zealand has ratified which reads, Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector.
• Promote inclusive employment practice in the private sector through organisations such as the newly-formed Employers’ Disability Network.
• Amend the Employment Relations Act 2000 to include a positive duty to be a good employer to the private sector in addition to the public sector.
• Review the implementation of the minimum wage exemption legislation in consultation with the disability community and make transparent its current operation through annual disclosures by the Department of Labour. The review should include: assessment of eligibility and rate; numbers of exemptions; pay rates determined; Human Rights implications of the policy and its implementation; the extent to which employment in open settings is being supported and; employers issues.
• Provide guidance on the disclosure of mental health issues to employers, employees and job seekers through the Commission’s widely-distributed Getting a job: An A to Z for employers and employees, Pre-employment guidelines.
The next section of the report looks at the overall labour market in New Zealand and refers to disabled people where the data is available. However, in important areas such as youth unemployment, ethnicity figures are available but disability statistics are not.
The collection of statistics about disabled people is very important and warrants action by government agencies. Article 31 of the CRPD states that the government must collect statistical and research data to develop and implement policies. It should provide for confidentiality and respect the privacy of disabled people. The information should be disaggregated and help to identify and address the barriers to disabled people in exercising their rights. The statistics should be made accessible to disabled people and others.