Why Inclusion Works
Is disability a business issue? Absolutely.
Potential employees and customers with disability represent a substantial opportunity for business owners and employers. In Australia’s competitive marketplace and skills-constrained economy, this market segment simply can’t be ignored.
A report from the Business Council of Australia found that in order to remain competitive, employers need to reconsider methods of attracting and retaining employees. Attracting, recruiting and retaining employees with disability can provide a significant and often overlooked opportunity for business, and a solution to Australia’s skills crisis.
When organisations make their selection processes barrier-free to people with disability, they ensure that all potential employees with the relevant skills, qualifications and experience are able to apply. Employers benefit by increasing the size of the talent pool, making it easier to find the best person for the job. Other benefits of employing people with disability include low absenteeism and employee turnover, low incidence of workplace injury*, and improved employee loyalty; all of which help to create cost effective businesses.
Organisations that actively include people with disability:
- Attract and retain the best candidates from the widest talent pool.
- Retain employees who have valuable experience and knowledge.
- Reduce sick leave and early ‘medical’ retirements.
- Strengthen workplace morale and productivity.
- Reduce workplace incidents.
- Reduce the risk of claims of unlawful discrimination.
Research has shown that there is a strong business case, as well as an ethical case, for employing people with disability. Having employees with disability can help you to understand what your customers or clients with disability may need, which can give you an edge over your competitors. Having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community it serves can lead to greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.
“At Westpac, we value every customer and employee as an individual. We want to delight all our customers and to do this we need the most talented and engaged people working for us, including people with disability. Being a leader in accessibility assists us to reach our customers and attract employees who can truly delight them”.
- Gail Kelly, CEO, Westpac.
* Australian Safety & Compensation Council Report “Are People with Disability at Risk at Work?” May 2007.