Around 10% of the world’s population has a disability. Those people generally have more difficulties than other people to find a job. Among these people, men are about twice as likely to have jobs as women. Of course, the difficulty is not the same according to the type of disability. It is even harder for people who have a mental disorder, for instance, to find a job, in comparison with people having another type of disability. The International Labour Organization (ILO) tries to encourage companies to offer equal opportunities and equal treatments for everyone, whatever their state of health is.
When people having a disability eventually succeed in finding a job, their wages are often lower than the ones of non-disabled people. Why are disabled people discriminated that way?
The most important barrier people having a disability should face is employer’s assumption about what those people can -or cannot- do. Disabled people regularly face stereotypic bias, which include, for instance :
- People having a disability are more expensive than other people
- People having a disability will take more time to manage
- People working around them will have to be careful about what they say, or the way they look at that person
- Disabled workers may be more often absent for health reasons
Studies conducted in Australia show that these beliefs are clearly unfounded. Indeed, employing people with disability does not cost any more than employing people without disability. They generally have fewer scheduled absences than people without disability. They are no more likely to be injured at work than other employees and they are not less effective or less productive than the other workers.
In any, while entering into a recruitment process, the main focus should remain skills and talents the person can bring to the workplace. Nothing else should be taken into consideration.
If you still think you should not hire disabled people because you think their exclusion to be legitimate, think about :
- Tax benefits : In many countries, especially in Europe, companies hiring enough disabled people can get financial advantages, or at least, avoid financial charges
- Your own success : If you refuse to hire people having a disability, you probably miss an important source of talented workers.
- Your brand image : Employing people having a disability is a guarantee that you don’t discriminate people because of their state of health. Thus, you improve your brand image, but you also avoid legal issues concerning discrimination.
As a company, your social responsibility is increasingly important.
Then, do you employ disabled people? Don’t hesitate to share your experience!
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