Employing disabled people in the State sector makes great business sense. It allows organisations to attract new skills and gain new and valuable perspectives. Not only does this increase the level of talent, but through accommodating disabled people organisations gain loyal and committed employees who will support them in achieving their objectives. There are many other ways in which organisations can benefit from employing disabled people.
The key areas to consider when building your business case for employing disabled people are:
Improved client relations
The services that the State sector delivers impact on all New Zealanders. Disabled clients and their friends friends and colleagues want services that meet their needs. All clients prefer to deal with staff who genuinely understand their situation.
New Zealanders expect that government organisations will be knowledgeable about disability and employ disabled people. Disabled people are included among the stakeholders, employees and clients of every government organisation.
Disabled people bring unique experiences and understanding which can transform a workplace and enhance policies and services.
Employing disabled people also enhances an organisation’s reputation. This is because New Zealanders recognise and appreciate the fact that the organisation understands and represents the full diversity of the New Zealand population it serves.
A failure to represent this diversity may lead to an organisation being viewed as ‘out of touch’.
Legal compliance is a key aspect of corporate governance and responsible business.
Employing disabled people will help organisations to manage costs and optimise productivity. This also provides benefits to the wider New Zealand economy.
Including disabled people in the workplace benefits New Zealand society by:
- lowering the tax burden on businesses
- improving New Zealand’s economic productivity, competitiveness and growth
- ensuring greater social equality
- providing opportunities for disabled people to contribute significantly to the economy as employees, entrepreneurs and consumers.
Disabled people are no longer isolated or seen as ‘special’. They are an important part of the diversity of society. By employing more disabled people, the State Sector can:
- take an ethical stance that reflects society’s changing values
- help improve the lives of disabled people
- tackle discrimination – disabled people should not have to accept inequitable and unfulfilling opportunities in the workplace
- create a culture of inclusion.
Professional benefits for managers
Disability directly affects colleagues at work and in their personal lives. Taking a leadership position on disability helps to:
- develop technical skills in change management, people management, job design, accessibility and useability
- recognise and enable human potential
- build flexible management skills
- enable managers to make reasonable accommodations that allow disabled employees to contribute.
EEO Trust – Employing disabled people
A guide to employing disabled people and why it makes good business sense.
Info sheet: Business case for disability employment
An info sheet from the Australian Public Service Commission about why government agencies should be employing more disabled people.
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