Primary messages

  • People with disability face discrimination and barriers to finding and maintaining successful careers.
  • People with disability are under-represented in the public service workforce.
  • Environmental factors, as well as social factors, can pose barriers to employment.
  • Low expectations of people with disability and incorrect and harmful assumptions are discriminatory, and limit opportunities.
  • To make great policy and deliver excellent services for Victorians, our public sector must reflect the diversity of the community we serve.
  • People with disability have a wide range of skills, expertise and perspectives that are important to making good policies and delivering great services for Victorians.
  • We need to take deliberate action to remove barriers and pursue fairer representation of people with disability at all levels of our workforce.
  • Even small actions can effectively remove barriers and make employment opportunities fairer.
  • Getting to work: Victorian public sector disability employment action plan 2018–2025 is our collective commitment to action. We all have a responsibility to contribute to change.
  • The targets in Getting to work motivate departments to increase the representation of people with disability across every level of the Victorian Public Service.
  • Reaching our targets will ensure the public sector better reflects our community.
  • By removing bias from our recruitment and career development systems, we improve the employment experience for everybody.
  • The Victorian public sector is lagging behind the broader Victorian workforce when it comes to participation rates of employees with disability. As government organisations, we should be leading the way.
  • If we do not take deliberate steps to improve our workplaces, we will not see positive change.
  • More inclusive workplace practices make better workplaces for all
  • Getting to work will be implemented successfully by working in partnership with the Enablers Network – the Victorian Public Sector Network for People with Disabilities.
  • To learn more about your responsibilities, and access resources, visit 

Messages about Getting to work

  • The Victorian Government has committed to increasing the number of people with disability in the public sector. Getting to work supports the target set by government of 6% representation by 2020 and 12% by 2025. These targets initially apply to the Victorian Public Service and will be expanded to the broader public sector over time.
  • The positive outcomes achieved by gender targets demonstrate that Getting to work’s targets can also lead to fairer representation in employment at all levels for people with disability.
  • The responsibility is with each of us to change cultures, systems and processes that present unreasonable barriers for people with disability.
  • Through collective and sustained effort the Victorian public sector will build inclusive workplaces where employees feel safe to share their disability information with their employer.
  • Getting to work has 21 actions grouped into three focus areas; building awareness through access to information; attract and recruit people with disability, and support employees with disability.
  • Getting to work is a roadmap for
    • creating safe, inclusive and respectful workplaces that are free from discrimination
    • implementing inclusive attraction, recruitment, retention
    • and progression strategies and supporting prospective and existing employees and their managers.
  • Getting to work is designed to build a capable and diverse public sector that better reflects the diversity of the Victorian community and benefits from the experience that people with disability bring to the workplace.

Supporting facts and figures

  • While people with disability comprise around 9% of the Victorian workforce, they only make up 3.6% of Victorian Public Service employees and 2.6% of employees across the whole Victorian public sector.
  • 2017 figures show only 53% of people with disability are engaged in the Victorian workforce, compared to 82% for people without disability.
  • The Victorian public sector is tracking well behind the broader Victorian workforce on participation rates of people with disability.

Policy context

The following is contextual information regarding Getting to work, which was supplied to the Victorian Parliament:

  • Enhancing the economic participation of people with disability is a priority of Absolutely everyone: State disability plan for 2017-2020.
  • To drive positive change in this area, Every opportunity: Victorian economic participation plan for people with disability 2018-2020 sets out the Government’s vision for an inclusive Victoria. The plan supports people with disability to make their contribution to the broader economy.
  • Discussions with the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and the Victorian Public Sector Enablers Network of public sector employees with disability informed the direction of Every opportunity. These discussions added to the extensive feedback provided through the state disability plan consultations in 2016.
  • The overarching goal of Every opportunity is to drive positive change through:
    • providing the basis for strengthened engagement and partnership opportunities with senior business, public sector leaders and other key stakeholders, whose support will play a critical role in its long-term success
    • drawing on and activating levers such as public sector employment, procurement, investment, accountability measures and leadership
    • facilitating the delivery of targeted initiatives that test, develop, refine and document practical evidence-based solutions in a Victorian context
    • ensuring a broad range of existing government policies and initiatives address the challenges faced by people with disability in a targeted manner.
  • Every opportunity seeks greater effort by government in the employment of people with disability, particularly through setting a target across the Victorian Public Service of six per cent by 2020, and 12 per cent by 2025. The targets currently apply to government departments and public service employees of Victoria Police, and will later be extended across the broader public sector.
  • The achievement of public sector targets is being supported by Getting to work: Victorian public sector disability employment action plan 2018-2025 (Getting to work) which was publicly released in October 2018. Implementation of Getting to work is being led by the Victorian Public Sector Commission, in close collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services.