Workplace adjustments in best-practice organisations

Thu 8 August 2019

A woman working at her laptop with her earphones in. Her phone and a newspaper are beside her.

The Centre for Workplace Leadership, in consultation with the Australian Network on Disability, examined 'best-practice' organisations in Australia to understand how they utilised workplace adjustments towards the inclusion of people with disability in the workplace.

Twenty-six Australian organisations from the private, public and for-purpose sectors participated in the research, from which 48 managers and employees were interviewed about their implementation of workplace adjustments.

A series of findings and recommendations focused on systems and processes that contribute to inclusive workplaces are outlined in the final report: Improving Access and Inclusion in Employment for People with Disabilities.

The research draws five key conclusions you can use to improve your own workplace adjustments policy and practices:

  1. Formalisation of systems and processes for workplace adjustments creates clarity around expectations and inclusion efforts at the workplace, provides organisational support for managers who embrace inclusion, and creates a mechanism to reduce unsupportive managerial behaviour.
  2. A formal process for seeking post-adjustment feedback enables leaders to create an environment that supports understanding about how adjustments are being received, whether they’re effective, and whether further adjustments are necessary.
  3. Organisations must consider ways in which to educate and communicate with managers and employees about invisible disability, such as mental illness, that promotes de-stigmatisation and supports the provision of adjustments.
  4. Organisations must be inclusive from the point of recruitment and selection by asking applicants about adjustments at all stages of the recruitment process.
  5. It’s important for organisations, especially leadership, to maintain an awareness that there’s always more to learn and more work to be done towards inclusion. This contributes to greater motivation to make continuous improvements.

To access the full report, which includes first-hand insights from the contributors, visit the Centre for Workplace Leadership website.

For more information about employer obligations and examples, read our Workplace Adjustments Factsheet.

How can we help?

An effective Workplace Adjustment Policy is the foundation of an inclusive and barrier-free workplace. It facilitates employment of talented candidates with disability, maximises the retention of existing employees who may acquire disability and supports all your employees to perform at their best.

To discuss how we can help you develop or optimise your Workplace Adjustment Passport, policy or procedure, please contact us

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