Employment Benefits of Hiring People with Disability
There are many employment benefits to hiring individuals with a disability. Australia’s workforce is constantly evolving and is a leader in its vision to accommodate our economic, environmental, and social goals. There are multiple industries experiencing skill shortages and therefore employers need to explore a diverse range of skilled and talented individuals and take advantage of the untapped labour market in Australia to meet growing business needs and accommodate for exponential growth. Individuals with disabilities are able to perform all types of jobs at different levels in various businesses. People need to be made aware that in most cases individuals with a disability are able to work and are enthusiastic workers, who display entrepreneurship, and innovation. Unfortunately, people with disabilities have lower rates of employment than the general population despite people with disabilities exemplifying the qualities employers are looking for, however, smart employers are welcoming talent with disability.
When thinking about hiring employees with disabilities, some employers might have reservations. There are significant employment benefits when employing someone with a disability beyond just filling a role. Let’s look at the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities.
6 employment benefits of hiring a person with a disability:
1. Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment:
This benefit is twofold. Not only does employing a person with a disability create an inclusive environment for your broader employees and demonstrates that your organisation cares about people from different backgrounds and a gender-inclusive environment where all differences are accepted. Which reduces employee turnover. The second employment benefit is that employees with disabilities bring additional insights into your customer base. Customers with disabilities and differences represent a large portion of the market and employing a person with a disability may give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
2. Employee Reliability:
According to multiple studies it has been shown that individuals with a disability tend to take off fewer days and take less sick leave than other employees. Employing people with a disability will increase the reliability of your workforce and these positive habits may rub off onto your other workers improving attendance and productivity across the whole organisation.
3. Employee Productivity:
Workers with disabilities possess skills and experiences that differ from your average employee. By hiring an employee with a disability, you are tapping into a vast talent pool that could offer your business a competitive edge. Once in the right role people with a disability perform equally as well as other people. Specifically, adults with autism possess above-average abilities in pattern recognition and memory. This leads to higher employee productivity.
4. Better Collaboration:
Hiring employees with disabilities will lead to better collaboration amongst employees and teams within an organisation. When team members are from diverse backgrounds, they bring all their experiences and develop creative solutions to problems. Hiring employees with disabilities will mean organisations will have a better understanding of their customer base and bring essentials points of view to certain discussions and problems.
5. Improve your company branding:
Although there are economic benefits to hiring employees with a disability there is also a social aspect that needs to be addressed. A diverse and inclusive workforce will shed a positive light on your company’s brand. Hiring people with a disability shows your customers that you are committed to helping people and value the contribution of all kinds of people in the workforce. People of different abilities working together is motivating and will reflect positively on your organisation.
6. Financial Incentives:
Among all the other employment benefits of hiring an individual with a disability, companies are also eligible for financial incentives. There are multiple incentives available to employers such as wage subsidies, employment assistance funds, a supported wage system, disabled Australian wage support and many more.
Now that we have looked at the employment benefits of hiring an employee with a disability it is also important to understand the best way to approach hiring employees with a disability.
There are programmes and support available to assist you to hire an employee with a disability:
- Job Access: This is a service funded by the Australian Government which provides information and advice about incentives for employing people with a disability. They also have free telephone information services offering practical workplace solutions for people with a disability and employers.
- Disability Employment Services: This service provides specialist support for people with a disability who require assistance to obtain and maintain employment. They also aid in finding disability employment service providers.
- Employment Assistance Fund: This service is more so directed to financial assistance. It provides financial help to employers for work-related equipment and services to adjust the workplace to suit employees with a disability.
- IncludeAbility: is an initiate of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Their goal is to increase sustainable employment opportunities for people with a disability. They also focus on closing the gap between people with a disability and people without a disability in the workforce.