Disabled Employment New Zealand
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.
Why the disabled want to work
Why do disabled people want to work, this is an easy question, the answer is a disabled person is just like any other person we think the same we want to do the same things and go to the same places others do. Employment can give freedom financial freedom to live the life the disabled person wants to live.
The biggest barrier to work for a lot of disabled people is attitude not so much the attitude of the disabled person but more that of those doing the hiring. Can a person in a wheelchair do a desk job as well as those not in wheelchairs, the correct answer is yes. employment is after-all not about disability it is about ability, ability to do the task required of you.
My name is Glen McMillan CEO/Chairman and founder of Disability Advisory Group New Zealand which I started in mid March 2018, I am an IT person, also very creative I have combined my IT skills with my creativity and have been designing websites for 30 years.
This website Disabled Employment is a sister site to my Disability Advisory Group website, both websites are wanting to help the disabled to get heard it is 2018 the community is online
Far more people can join an online Disability Advisory Group than standard council groups, the same goes for finding work the disabled community wants to work.
According to the minister of disabilities whom I meet at a local Whangarei meeting on 30th may 2018. 24% of New Zealanders have some form of disability of those 74% want to work.
So why if the minister says 74% want to work that's one million one hundred seventy-three thousand, why are the numbers that want to work but can not get a job so high, simply put disabled people are not a priory for council or Government.
That's 24% or one million one hundred seventy-three thousand New Zealanders that are not coincided a priority
I think this is very important, I will start with an example a lawyer earns $200.00 per hour to appear in court for clients, now should that lawyer lose the use of his legs should he be expected to charge only $120.00 per hour because less of him is working, the correct answer is no.
I want to help connect employers with potential employees that have a disability, 24% of New Zealanders have a disability, 74% of those people want to work.
I am designing this as I go we will have a Facebook page as well. The idea being disabled people wanting employment will be able to post on our Facebook page. I also plan to have a work wanted section on this website.
The hiring process should end with the appointment of the person who best matches the job requirements. Increasing the pool of applicants by including suitably skilled disabled people increases the chances of finding the best person for the job.
See hiring for more information on the application and interview processes.
Why hire disabled people?
There are already many disabled people successfully employed across the New Zealand workforce, including in eg professional, managerial, administration, service, technical and 'manual' roles. Disabled people are sometimes not hired because of perception, fear, myth and prejudice eg accommodating a person with a disability is too expensive.
- Many companies have found that by employing disabled people, they are better able to understand and serve their disabled customers.
- Adapting services to cater for the diverse needs of disabled people allows business to develop greater flexibility, builds reputations and reaches out to a sizeable market. Most disabled employees don't need specific adjustments or accomodations.
- In living their every-day lives many disabled people have learnt adaptability and problem solving skills that are readily transferrable to the workplace.
- Disabled people are as productive and as reliable as any other employees.
- Disabled people tend to have better attendance records, stay longer and have fewer accidents.
- If an organisation is a good employer of disabled people it promotes good morale among staff and is good for its reputation.
When developing an application form, make sure that the information gathered determines whether the person can perform the job essentials and that the application form is available in alternative formats.
Inclusive job descriptions and assessment
- Don’t be too specific about how a task should be completed, focus on the 'what' not the 'how'.
- Criteria should be ranked in order of importance from essential to minor. Minor tasks could be reassigned to another person.
- Some small wording change could produce the same result but result in a wider of pool of people being available – instead of using 'minimum typing speed' consider using 'produce quality documents using word processing software.'
- For example, making coffee may be an additional task required of a receptionist job rather than an essential task.
If an employer uses a recruitment agency, it’s their responsibility to make sure that the agency doesn’t discriminate against disabled people. Some of the things to check with the recruitment agency are:
- What disability awareness training have staff done?
- What are the agency’s disability and diversity policies? Are they aware of your policies?
- What accessible means and media have been used for advertising?
- Do they understand and practice ‘reasonable accommodation’? How accessible are their premises?
- Will the agency interview a disabled candidate who meets the minimum requirements?
- Does the agency know how to access any appropriate supports for an effective interview and on-going processes?
E-recruitment (online recruitment) is increasingly used. It’s fast, convenient, cost effective and simplifies the process giving jobseekers to access a wider pool of jobs.
Tips on making recruitment websites accessible:
- Test websites, as well as job boards for accessibility.
- Create job alerts or job talent pools for unsuccessful candidates.
- Images and non-text items should have text labels. People with vision impairment can use the site using screen reading software.
- Have flexible automated scanning.
- When users submit online applications make sure that sorting software such as spell checkers don’t discriminate.
- Career pages should be inclusive and show a commitment to employing disabled people. For example: “We welcome enquiries from everyone and value diversity in the workforce".
Arranging an interview
When arranging interviews, the best way to ensure that any reasonable accomodations/ adjustments are provided is to ask all candidates if they require accomodations, 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.
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 acoomodations/ 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.