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14 April 2021

Disability and employment: What you need to know.

Here at Leap in! HQ, we know that many NDIS participants include getting a job as one of their NDIS goals.

More employers are striving to create inclusive and accessible workplaces but there is still a way to go. As a co-founder of the Brisbane Inclusive Employment Movement, Leap in! is playing a leadership role in breaking down barriers to meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Education and awareness are important aspects along the path to change. So it helps if you know your rights and have a basic knowledge of the law when it comes to employment.

Today we’ll recap the latest NDIS employment supports and provide some pointers on your rights at work when you have a disability.

NDIS employment supports.

If you have an employment-related goal in your NDIS Plan, you may be eligible for a range of supports.

The types of supports the NDIS may fund include:

  • Helping you get and keep a job
  • Career planning
  • Job customisation and task-related support
  • On the job training
  • Personal care at work
  • Help to transition from school to work.

For more details about how the NDIS can help you get job-ready or support you in the workplace, check out our previous story, NDIS employment supports.

Understanding employment law.

Workplace laws can be quite complicated. They also differ from state-to-state. But there are some basic principles that are good to know.

  • Equality of opportunity in employment is a basic right for everyone. This includes all aspects of employment, from recruitment through to career progression.
  • The law covers all types of temporary and permanent disabilities as well as workplace injuries, medical conditions and diseases or illnesses.

What does this mean if you have a disability?

It is unlawful for an employer discriminate against a person on the grounds of their disability:

  • In the recruitment process
  • In making a decision on who gets the job
  • In the terms or conditions on which the job is offered
  • Limiting access to opportunities for promotion, transfer, training or any other benefits
  • Dismissal.

It is also unlawful for an employer to take certain actions against an employee, former employee or prospective employee because of physical or mental disability.

This may include:

  • Firing you
  • Not giving you the correct pay or leave
  • Changing a job to your disadvantage
  • Treating you differently because of your disability
  • Offering unfair terms or conditions compared with other employees.

Adjustments in the workplace.

Workplace adjustments is a grey area and can cause confusion among both people with a disability and their employers.

An employer is required to make “reasonable adjustments” so an employee with a disability can participate fully in the workplace.

Things that are generally considered reasonable are:

  • Changing work hours or methods
  • Modifying equipment
  • Installing software
  • Purchasing new equipment
  • Changing the format of onboarding or training documentation
  • Adapting training.

Adjustments are considered appropriate if they do not cause “reasonable hardship” to the employer. Exemptions may apply for some roles, or if because of a disability you are unable to carry out the basic requirements of the work, after reasonable adjustments are made.

It’s important to talk to your employer about any modifications or adjustments needed to help you perform your job.

Creating a culture of inclusion.

Leap in! has developed a guide for employers wanting to create a more inclusive culture for people with a disability. There’s also a section on funding support and tips for workplace etiquette that may be helpful in preparing you for conversations with employers or colleagues.

Download the free ebook at

Further reading

Creating a movement for more inclusive workplaces.

Inclusive employment: Latest Leap in! ebook.

The latest inclusive products you’ll want to know about.