It is good business sense to employ people with disability. Low unemployment levels and the current skills shortage mean that Australian businesses must work harder than ever to build a skilled and unified team.
- There are about 200,000 vacant positions in Australia at any given time
- For every unfilled role, there are less than three people actively looking for work
- Almost 200,000 workers retire each year – this number is steadily increasing
Employers can capitalise on the many benefits that people with disability bring to our society. Crucial to this is making the most of diversity and eliminating barriers that might hinder a team member’s performance.
People with disabilities work in all industries, in many different roles and at every level; they enjoy fulfilling careers and make significant contributions to their places of employment. Their disability may or may not affect how they do their job. However, a large number of these people still encounter barriers to employment.
Cost effectiveness of employing people with disability
There are several key ways in which the cost-effectiveness of your business can be increased by employing people with disability.
- Research shows that people with disability stay in one job for longer, have fewer workplace accidents, and are absent from work less often than their colleagues
- When companies make recruitment and selection processes barrier-free, they widen the talent pool and ensure they choose the best person for the job
- You will also reduce the risk of claims of unlawful discrimination against your company. See the Legal Responsibilities of Employers fact sheet for further information
You don’t need to make expensive changes to accommodate an employee with disability; you may simply need to be flexible about how things are done. Creating a flexible workplace will make your company more attractive to a range of people, including single parents, speakers of English as a second language, and older workers.
A diverse workplace can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. One in five Australians has a disability: this includes your clients and customers. Having employees with disability can help you understand the needs of clients with disability, and give you a competitive edge.
Statistics at a glance:
- 90% of employers of people with disability said they would be happy to continue to do so
- The average recruitment cost of a person with disability is 13% of that of a person without a disability
- Employees with disability average only 16 % of the recorded OH&S incidents of those without disability
- 90% of employees with disability have average or superior productivity rates
- 98% have average or superior safety records
- 86% have average or superior attendance records
Graffam, Shinkfield, Smith and Polzin. “Employer Benefits and Costs of Employing a Person with a Disability.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 17 (2002): 251-63.