Staff with a disability cost the same
A major Australian reform program known as the Ronalds Report2 found that few employees with a disability require workplace adjustment or job redesign. Most workplace adjustments or changes to jobs are simple, cost nothing or are inexpensive, and frequently benefit other employees and the public. Studies show that 69% of all adjustments cost less than $500.
In a Victorian survey of 279 private sector companies, 90% reported there was no effect on insurance premiums as a result of employing people with a disability.3 This finding is supported by overseas research into occupational health and safety that found people with a disability are far less likely to be injured at work than people who do not have a disability.4 For instance, industry studies in the USA found that compared to employees without a disability, employees with a disability have average or better:5
- attendance records
- job retention rates
- on-the-job safety records
- productivity rates.
These studies highlight the fact that people with a disability have the same range of skills as people without a disability and can work successfully in a wide range of jobs and industries.6
The Report of the Federal Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs declared that for many people, a disability poses practically no limitation at all on their ability to perform a large variety of work tasks. In other cases, a very small and inexpensive adjustment in the work environment can render many jobs suitable to people who have a range of disabilities.7