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Thursday, 03 December 2015 09:59

Employers urged to give people with disabilities a fair go

Today on International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), the Commission is urging employers to reject the common misconceptions about hiring people with disabilities and consider the many benefits they bring to the workplace.

The theme for IDPwD in 2015 is: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.

Providing an employment opportunity to a person with disabilities enables them to participate in the workforce and pursue their career goals. It also brings new skills, valuable perspectives and diversity to an organisation.

Contrary to common misconceptions, many people with disabilities have completed tertiary education, or attained vocational or other professional qualifications and are already successfully employed in the Australian workforce. More than one third of people with disabilities are employed in professional, managerial and administrator roles.

Despite this, an overwhelming number still face many barriers to entering the workforce. The most significant are the assumptions and attitudes of employers about what people with disabilities can and cannot do.

Negative attitudes of employers have been challenged by Deakin University research which found that workers with disabilities take fewer days off and maintain longer tenure.

The research also found that employing people with disability does not cost any more than employing people without disabilities, as funding for workplace adjustments is fully covered by government.

To find out more about employing people with disabilities visit the Australian Network on Disability or join one of many IDPwD events being held across the country to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities.

Disability, employment and the law

A person with a disability has a right to the same employment opportunities as a person without a disability.

If a person with a disability can do the main activities or ‘inherent requirements’ of a job, then they should have an equal opportunity to do that job.

Employees are protected from discrimination at all stages of employment including recruitment, workplace terms and conditions and dismissal.

Find out more about disability, employment and the law.

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