Global HR Guide to Disability at Work

January 12, 2021

Almost half of the HR professionals and managers involved in the 2019 study believed many roles could not be performed by someone with a disability. These beliefs may be preventing this talented cohort from being recruited, hired or promoted for one of the 7 million roles in the US employers struggle to fill. 

The situation globally does not appear to be much better. Even the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs struggled to find data on persons with disabilities and their employment rates. Data that does exist often relates to specific industries or companies. The UN have found some information enabling them to estimate unemployment rates for people with disabilities in developing countries between 80% and 90% and 50% and 70% in developed economies. Much greater than average rates of unemployment.  

Over the last year we have looked at many ways in which international HR teams can integrate people with disabilities into teams so they have the same opportunities as everyone else to work at home or on expat assignment:

We look at the definitions of disability in the workplace from physical to acquired to unseen and the approaches required to accommodate employees so they can focus on succeeding in their role.
We look at the best ways for your business to send more employees with disabilities on expat assignment. Although it may not always be straight forward, with careful planning it is possible and the rewards for your employee and business may be great. We look at the need for disability inclusion training for all employees so there is an understanding throughout the organisation of the benefits of a more diverse workforce. We also suggest some approaches to ensuring employees have the supports they need to successfully do their job.
We look at the explicit and implicit ways those with disabilities can be discriminated against in the workplace. While you may be aware of explicit disability discrimination, there are more subtle but no less damaging ways people with disabilities can be excluded while at work. Some are covered by legislation, but others are not. Make sure your business is not inadvertently excluding those with a disability from having a full and rewarding career. 
There are a cohort of people with disabilities that cannot be seen. Conditions like diabetes, depression, epilepsy and dyslexia are just a handful of the conditions that can impact people’s lives without any outward sign of a problem. In this article we look at how you as an employer can support employees with these kinds of disabilities. Small changes can make a big difference.
Every employer wants to feel they are creating a friendly and inviting workplace for all of their employees. In this article we look at how you can make the work environment more comfortable for employees with disabilities from simple changes like switching light fittings to more significant adjustments.  
It is possible a proportion of your existing employees may have a disability that they are trying to hide, impacting their wellbeing and productivity. By creating a friendly environment for disability disclosure your business can provide them with the support they need to focus on doing their job.  

Is your business struggling to build a more diverse workforce? Do you feel you are trying but not seeing the expected results? We look at some barriers to diversity and inclusion that may be impacting your progress. 

Don’t forget to protect the health and wellbeing of your expat employees with international health insurance for Small business including access to our expat assistance programme.