With Australia’s population becoming increasingly older, research shows that some businesses will begin struggling with staffing shortages. To fill these troubling gaps, employers are encouraged to think outside the box and consider hiring those not previously considered.
For instance, studies have shown there are an overwhelming number of positive benefits attached to hiring somebody with a disability.
With approximately one in five people having some form of disability, many employers may already have a disabled member of staff.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a disability is defined as “any limitation, restriction or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted or is likely to last for at least six months”.
Some disabilities are not visible and may only have a small impact on what the person can do. A few examples of disabilities are physical injuries, communication disorders and mental health issues.
Employers are being encouraged to focus on what an employee can do, rather than what they can’t. Many disabled people are able to work in certain fields with little to no additional assistance.
It’s important to keep the focus on finding a good match between a person’s abilities and their job – this will help you disabled staff to excel and be assets to your team.
There are many channels of relief for workplaces that hire disabled staff. Through BUSY at Work, information and unbiased apprentice support is offered to both the employer and the apprentice.
A wide range of government assistance is also available to employers, including wage support and funding for workplace modifications.
The incentives for and benefits of hiring a disabled apprentice go beyond monetary gains. Research into workplace diversity has shown that hiring a disabled worker can increase morale and encourage a more positive work culture.
Workers with disabilities are likely to have highly developed problem solving skills. Disabled people encounter more challenges in their everyday life, meaning that they are more frequently using and developing their problem solving abilities.
A report made by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that hiring disabled employees can lead to reduced absenteeism, as employees with disabilities usually take fewer sick days than an average employee.
Also, workplace incidents that require Occupational Health and Safety involvement are six times less likely with a disabled apprentice, and the number of cases ending in employee compensation is four times lower than that of an average employee.