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Disabled Employment New Zealand

Many highly capable New Zealanders could be part of the workforce if barriers to their employment were removed. 74% of disabled people want to work. This website will help remove barriers.

Information to help break down barriers to employment for employers and disabled people wanting to enter the workforce. Disabled people are less likely to be employed than the general population or other minorities. Employment for disabled people is often limited by opportunity and employers attitudes rather than disability.


Interviewing the disabled

Disabled Employment the Interview

Disabled Employment, hiring disabled people, helping people with disabilities to become self- employed, advice on hiring staff with disability in employment, Disabled home office work, all options should be open


Arranging an interview

When arranging interviews, the best way to ensure that any reasonable accommodations / adjustments are provided is to ask all candidates if they require accommodations, when explaining the recruitment and selection process.
If an applicant has told you they have a disability, contact them as soon as possible to make arrangements such as an accessible room; car parking; hearing loop; interpreter.
Briefing the receptionist and co-interviewers on the specific requirements of the person will help put them at ease.

Effective interviewing

The fact sheet issued by the Australian Network on Disability "Interviewing people with disability(external link)" has useful tips about effective interviewing.

If psychometric or other tests are included in the hiring process, ensure any assessments are in an accessible format and relate to the requirements of the job. Adjustments to tests may be reasonable, depending on how closely the test is related to the job and what reasonable accomodations you might have to make if the applicant was given the job.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations/ adjustments during hiring are:

  • allowing extra time to complete a test
  • allowing an oral test where someone has difficulty with manual dexterity
  • letting a reader or scribe help with reading or writing during a test.

Whenever possible, employers should give feedback to unsuccessful applicants, especially if there have been discussions about reasonable accommodation. It must be made clear to disabled applicants that decisions are based on their level of skill or experience, not on disability related issues.


One of the areas that employers are often concerned about is disclosure and privacy.

  • While there is no obligation on an applicant for a job to disclose a disability, if the disability may impact their ability to do the job, it may be a breach of good faith obligations if they don’t disclose it to their employer.
  • Employers can ask potential employees if they have a disability or injury that impacts on their ability to do the job. This is often done in an application form eg ‘Do you have any condition, disease or health issues that could impact on your ability to carry out the type of work you are applying for?’
  • If an employee or potential employee does disclose a disability, the employer should find out what support and ‘reasonable accommodations’ they may need. Have a conversation together. And if in doubt, talk to professionals who can assist with advice, installation and cost of any changes you may need to make to help the workplace or job fit.

Disclosure of disability and privacy

  • If an employee does disclose a disability, as with any other personal information the employer must preserve the privacy of the employee and any disclosure to other parties should only be with the express permission of the employee. For more information about privacy matters(external link) visit the Privacy Commissioner’s website.