Now is a time of significant importance for Australia. After more than two years of constant disruption and change, Australia is learning to live with the impacts of a major global pandemic.
The past two years have had a profound impact on the way Australians live and work:
- It has caused great disruptions to the labour market – and shifted vast numbers of Australian workers into flexible work, including for many, work from home. Early on, it was assumed that this shift to working from home would lead to more equitable sharing of unpaid work in the home, but this did not come to pass.
- What’s more, in 2022, Australia is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in almost 50 years. This, along with record-high employment, means that many Australian organisations are struggling to meet their workforce needs. At the same time, there are more than 3 million people in Australia who are looking for work, or who want more work.
- Over this time, DCA saw a huge increase in our membership and engagement – something that we believe reflects Australian’s desire for a more diverse and inclusive labour market.
DCA’s response to the Employment White Paper draws on our research into diversity and inclusion (D&I) to respond to a number of specific terms of reference. We outline what our research says about the experiences of Australian workers from a diversity of backgrounds, and offer evidence-based solutions to create inclusive workplaces.
We argue that a focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) can help us to understand and address these issues, and in doing so it can also help us create a more equitable job market for all Australians.
DCA is really pleased to see the number of initiatives and legislative changes already underway to address issues identified in the White Paper. Our recommendations are therefore in relation to actions that can support the work already underway, or in relation to additional areas that we believe will help build a more productive workforce and create more opportunities for more Australians.