Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment service for people with a disability or health condition.
Employing Disabled People
Where is my local Workbridge centre?
Workbridge has 22 centres throughout the country. Find your local centre.
How can I contact Workbridge?
Contact a Workbridge centre in your local area. Alternatively, if you are looking for staff to fill a vacancy, anywhere in New Zealand, or you would like general information about Workbridge, email the Workbridge administrator or telephone toll free on 0508 858 858.
How much does it cost to recruit people through Workbridge?
Workbridge services are free to both jobseekers and employers.
What is a disability?
There are a wide range of impairments and conditions which are disabilities. You can find more information about types of disabilities here.
Disability etiquette is a set of guidelines dealing specifically with how to approach disabled people. The rules of etiquette and good manners for interacting with disabled people are generally the same as the rules for good etiquette in society.
Click here to see some general guidelines.
Why do disabled people need a specialised service?
Disabled people find work through a range of recruitment channels just like everyone else. Workbridge is here to provide both disabled people and employers with a recruitment service that is based on specialist knowledge of disability, reasonable accommodations and successful management of disability in the workplace.
Does Workbridge have candidates ready for interview?
Yes. Workbridge works with jobseekers with a variety of skills, work experience and career aspirations.
How can I be sure that Workbridge will send appropriate candidates?
Workbridge employment consultants work hard to match candidates to the positions available. Eighty-seven percent of employers who work with Workbridge rate our services as good or very good.
How much is the subsidy my business will get to employ a disabled recruit?
Employers do not receive a subsidy for employing someone with a disability, as such. However, if the person you recruit has a lower level of productivity for a reason related to their disability, they may be eligible for a Productivity Allowance through the Job Support Fund. The Productivity Allowance is paid to the employer.
Will employing people with disabilities create more work?
Some disabled people require additional support in the workplace, others do not. In some cases additional investment of time may be required upfront in putting in place reasonable accommodations or providing additional training or mentoring to a new employee.
Workbridge is here to support you through this process. Remember disabled people are just like everyone else. Some require more management time, others less. Most employers report that their investment pays off in terms of loyal, talented staff who stay with the business longer.
What do other employers say about employing disabled people?
Research with employers undertaken on behalf of Workbridge has shown that businesses employ disabled people for the same reasons as they employ anyone else. They are looking for candidates who are keen and enthusiastic with the right skills and relevant work experience.
Employers also say that as a result of employing a person with a disability they are more aware of the needs of other staff and that the organisation benefits from greater diversity.
The majority of employers find that their concerns about whether disabled people would be able to do the job, and whether they would be a health and safety risk, are managed by ensuring the candidate was right for the position and that the right accommodations are put in place.
Are disabled people a health and safety risk to my business?
When you recruit a person with a disability you will need to ensure that you provide a safe workplace – as you would for any other staff member. There is no reason why disabled people should present a health and safety risk in the workplace if OSH guidelines are followed. A study of Australian employers in 2007 found disabled people have a lower than average rate of OSH incidents. 
Will disabled people have the skills and qualifications I need?
People with disabilities have a wide range of skills and qualifications. There is limited research in New Zealand but it is believed that the situation is similar to the UK where 6% of first class degrees are gained by disabled students, and 24% of disabled people in work are in management or professional occupations. Some disabled people have lower qualifications or less work experience due to the effects of unsuitable employment situations, or time out from the workforce for rehabilitation. Employers who are flexible in their selection criteria will look for alternative, but work-relevant experience, such as voluntary work.
What is reasonable when I am making accommodations for employees who have disabilities?
The Human Rights Act 1993 requires that you make accommodations to a level which is reasonable for your business. What is reasonable is determined on an individual basis, taking into account the circumstances of both the employee and the business they are working in. You can find out more about reasonable accommodations here.
Is there support to pay for accommodations?
Yes. Support is available through the Job Support Fund. Most reasonable accommodations are not expensive to implement and taking a flexible approach can make a huge difference in enabling a wider range of people to work for you.