Disability Employment Myth Busting
Myth #1: Disabled people are too much of a health and safety risk
Fact – Employees with disabilities have less health and safety incidents than their peers.
“Disabled employees often have fewer health and safety issues than non-disabled workers. This is because in managing their impairment from the start, the employer and the employee will have developed strategies to address the health and safety risks. Whether your employee is disabled or not, your approach to health and safety should remain the same.” – Business.govt.nz
We believe it is even more than this. As people, those who have an accessibility need are managing risks daily, they become experts at it and they bring those expertise to the workplace. Many companies have reported better health and safety outcomes by having them onboard as they share their experience/expertise with the greater team.
Myth #2: Disabled people take too much sick leave
Fact: Disabled employees take less sick leave on average than their peers.
One Australian study says 85% less.
Myth #3: Disabled people are less capable and do lower quality work
Fact: Surveys have found that 90% of disabled people rated average or better than their peers on job performance.
Myth #4: Disabled people don't stay long enough in a job.
Fact: NZ statistics show that disabled people are loyal, on average staying with employers over 50% longer than non-disabled peers.
** Stats NZ - Disability Employment Statistics **
Myth #5: We don't have any disabled people in our organisation.
Fact: 24% of New Zealander's identify as disabled. 80% of those disabilities are not visible.
(Still think you don't have any disabled people in your organisation?)
Myth #6: It's expensive to employ a disabled person.
Fact: Most disabled people don't require anything additional to do their job. When they do, there are support programmes and funding available.
Bonus fact - Research has shown that the benefits of hiring disabled people outweigh any expenses, ultimately leading to a better bottom line.
Myth #7: Disabled people can only do basic unskilled jobs.
Fact: Disabled people bring a range of skills, talents and abilities to the workplace. Many have tertiary and trade qualifications.
Disabled people know their abilities and are unlikely to apply for a job that they can't do.
Myth #8: Disabled people have difficulty getting to work.
Fact: Disabled people reliably organise their own transport to work. They drive, walk, carpool, use public transport and taxis, like everyone else.
Myth #9: Making our documents usable for disabled people is difficult and costly.
Fact: There are many simple skills everyone can learn that can improve the accessibility of documents, which also improve their overall usability for everyone.
Myth #10: Our technology won't work for disabled people.
Fact: Disabled people use a large range of assistive technologies to overcome technology barriers, if they even exist.
Never assume that someone who uses different tools can't get the job done.
New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network
The New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network is a collective of NZ employers committed to improving disability inclusion and accessibility practices in their own organisations and across Aotearoa. The network is recognised by the UN's International Labour Organisation's Global Business and Disability Network as a key New Zealand body representing businesses in their accessibility journey.