Disability employment rights



A three hour seminar in Hamilton called ‘Just One Day’ is to be held at the end of this month that will provide employers with information pertaining to hiring employees with disabilities.

With employment statistics for people with disabilities as low as they currently are, these are exactly the types of seminars that should be held across the country.

The current stigma is that people with disabilities just don’t want to work and this is simply incorrect. The reason why these statistics are so low is because the misconception that we are less capable is still very much alive and kicking.

The truth however is that the opposite is true. According to Enrich + executive leader employment Martyn Parkes, “people with a disability are often more motivated and more committed and they just want to be given an opportunity. That is what employers want at the end of the day, someone who is motivated and hard working.”

This hits the nail on the head. We will never know of anyone’s full potential or the invaluable contribution they can make to this world unless we give them a chance. This isn’t just the case for people with disabilities – its true for everyone but we need to collectively break down the structural injustices that prevent this from happening.

This is where education comes in. Age-old beliefs regarding people of difference are not going to go away overnight, which is why we have to continuously work at breaking them down.

Progress on this front is absolutely happening and we have come a long way; we have to appreciate that. But I’m tired of people saying this and leaving it at that. Gratitude and complacency are two very different things and that’s the first thing we need to acknowledge in order to progress further.

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  1. It’s excellent to see this type of seminar even happening, and I sincerely hope it will be extended.

    I would like to add something though- I fully agree that the majority of us at the very least just want the chance to show we’re capable of doing the job, but many employers (including in the state sector) are the main barrier to this.

    But then there are the employers who are prepare to give us a go, either on our own merits or a combination of those and a disability employment scheme. 5 employers gave me a go, and while I was qualified and capable of the skills required, I was such a liability to the workplace because of the nature of my medical condition, in the end I lost all of those jobs- devastating as it was I had to agree with them. So those employers all had a very negative experience of taking on a person with a disability and might be reluctant to try it again, even with someone who has a completely different disability.

    I’m not saying that’s an acceptable position for them, but can you see how that would happen? I hope with these seminars that the individualism of people with any sort of disability is emphasised, and that first and foremost the person’s qualifications/experience/status as a person is seen before the disability. If they have a had negative experience in the past with an employee who happened to have a disability, it shouldn’t be considered any different to a negative experience with any employee.

  2. Well, why is this even a ‘topic’ I ask? Are WINZ not supposedly offering “supports” for disabled to get into jobs? Paula Bennett used to repeat this like a parrot, when she was in the job as Minister, so what has happened?

    What will be achieved by some information ‘seminars’ for employers, I ask? What is the problem then? Will this change things and lead to mass hiring of disabled? I doubt it, the “effort” is a joke, really.

    We already have an organisation headed by former MP Jackie Blue, the Equal Employment Commissioner is her title:

    We have a trust called EEO:

    So what are, and what have, they been doing?

    Raising awareness is one thing, getting employment is another. It simply is so, that some disabled may be able to adjust, and with “support”, be able to do marvelous jobs, but many others, will never be able to compete with the non disabled, as we live in a ruthless market economy, where performance indicators and output dictate, who gets a job, and keeps a job. Much work is precarious now, not even secure, and limited in duration, in available pay, sometimes not paying a living.

    We have WiNZ put on expectations, for people to work, also sick and disabled, what are they doing then, when this is still an “issue”? Has there been too much hype and talk perhaps, without the “walk”?

    Something does not seem to work or match the information agendas.

    Simply presenting stuff like in a seminar to employers may convince some to hire disabled, but without actual tax or cash incentives, I fear that nothing much will change.

    What about WINZ giving disabled a chance to start their own business, also?

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