JobAccess Launches a New Conversation Guide to Boost Employer Confidence on Workplace Adjustments

Sydney, Australia, May 23, 2024 –(– JobAccess, an Australian Government-funded program, designed as the national hub for disability employment information, has launched a new Conversation Guide on workplace adjustments to facilitate an open, empathetic, and actionable discussion between employers and employees with disability.

The resource has been developed through feedback received in the recent national survey by JobAccess, which found that 6 in 10 Australians lack awareness of workplace adjustments.

The survey also highlighted that most people are unaware of the costs and benefits of implementing adjustments in the workplace. A common deterrent for employees to request adjustments was having to speak with their manager and the risk of being stigmatised.

“Having the conversation about workplace adjustments is usually half the battle. In most cases, employers and employees with disability aren’t sure how to approach the discussion and might not be aware of the supports available to them,” says JobAccess General Manager Daniel Valiente-Riedl.

Workplace adjustments are vital in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that promotes equal opportunities for everyone. They are an important enabler for people with disability to work safely, productively and feel included.

An effective conversation is a good starting point for employers and people with disability to help identify any barriers and find potential solutions. Offering workplace adjustments are critical to support people with disability in employment and help bridge Australia’s disability employment gap.

“This conversation guide is a ready-to-use, practical resource that employers and employees can download and apply in their discussions with openness and confidence,” Daniel adds.

Karla Fernee, National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) Manager emphasises, “Employers play a crucial role in fostering a supportive, inclusive, and safe workplace for both current and future employees. Knowing how to initiate the conversation about adjustments is key to understand and meet the diverse needs of your workforce.”

“This approach not only sets a positive tone across the organisation but also enhances employers’ confidence to attract, employ, and retain people with disability,” Karla adds.

The guide also features a list of good practice considerations for employees to identify and discuss workplace adjustments with their current or prospective employer.

Manager for Advisory and Workplace Adjustments at JobAccess, Georgia Miller says, “Sometimes people with disability may choose not to share information or talk about their disability in the workplace because of myths and misconceptions about disability. And, that completely one’s own choice,”

“However, it’s good if employees and candidates feel comfortable sharing information about their access requirements. It can build trust and create an open relationship between their manager and colleagues. It also enables employers to put effective adjustments in place to enhance workplace efficiency.”

“Each person’s accessibility needs are different. Making simple adjustments can support productivity, lead to greater job satisfaction, and help people with disability sustain employment,” Georgia concludes.

Download the “Conversation Guide on workplace adjustments” from the JobAccess website.

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Author: ibm1

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