Barriers to Employment
Respondents identified many challenges and barriers to seeking and sustaining employment. Of those who responded (n =2,039), one-third were actively looking for work, one-third were not currently looking for work although may do so in the future, and one-third were not looking for work.
For individuals looking for work, 51% of respondents had been unemployed for up to 12 months and 32% had not been working for a period of time and found it hard to find a job.
Fifty-nine per cent of respondents who were not looking for work reported physical/mental health issues as the main cause of not seeking employment.
Of statistical significance, mental and/or physical health conditions were the major barrier preventing respondents from entering the workforce. As observed in previous ESIS reports, there was a genuine willingness to seek employment, however respondents were hindered by their current health situation or caring duty, or lack of job opportunity that suits their current health conditions or caring duty.
Fifty per cent of respondents who may be looking for work in the future identified parenting and caring responsibilities as the main barrier preventing them from working.
For many respondents, parenting responsibilities were a significant barrier, either preventing individuals entering, remaining in or seeking employment. The cost and availability of childcare, coupled with the availability of part-time work during school hours, may contribute to some of these challenges, particularly for single parents gaining employment.