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Why employ disabled people

Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment service for people with a disability or health condition.

Employing Disabled People – Business Case

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.

Business benefits

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.