The business case for employing disabled people
There’s a reason why Workbridge fills up to 4000 jobs each year. It’s not just because employing disabled people is a socially responsible thing to do – it’s because it makes good business sense.
Dozens of state sector employers as well as large private sector employers including Z Energy, ANZ Bank, OCS, Vodafone, Silver Ferns Farms and Telnet have already discovered the benefits of recruiting great staff through Workbridge - at no cost to them.
Here’s why hiring disabled people is good for your business’s bottom line.
Hidden talent pool
Almost a quarter of New Zealand’s population has a disability, injury or injury that lasts for six months or more. Most employers probably already employ staff with a disability, injury or illness, but may not know it.
New Zealand has 228,000 disabled people of working age who are not employed. Seventy-four percent of them want to work, so employers who leave this talent pool untapped risk missing out skilled, capable and highly motivated workers.
In 2011, a survey by Deloitte Australia discovered that many employer concerns about recruiting disabled staff were myths. Deloitte found that:
- the vast majority of disabled workers are as productive or more productive than non-disabled workers
- most disabled workers have better attendance and fewer health and safety issues than non-disabled workers
- hiring disabled workers usually costs less than hiring non-disabled workers.
Ready and able to work
Most disabled workers require the same workplace support as non-disabled workers.
Labour market data from the 2013 New Zealand Census New Zealand found that:
- only 10% of disabled workers need equipment or modifications to their work area to help them do their job
- only 28% of disabled workers have difficulty doing some tasks or duties
- only 11% of workers say their conditions limits the number of hours they can work.
The majority of workplace supports cost nothing or very little. If there is a cost, once reasonable accommodation is considered, funding is available via Support Funds.
Preparing for the future
Employing disabled people has the added advantage of allowing employers to:
- connect to a wider market by establishing networks with the 24% of Kiwis who have a disability, injury or injury lasting for six months or more
- attract new skills and gain new perspectives
- prepare for an aging workforce, as disability increases with age.