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Employers Anxious About Hiring People With Disabilities

A new survey finds some employers are discouraged from hiring people with disabilities due to perceived concerns linked to their ability to do the work.

More than 100 human resource executives from a cross-section of Ontario-based firms took part in the study commissioned by the Job Opportunity Information Network.

Among respondents, 36 per cent say they were discouraged from hiring a person with a disability out of concern that it would be harder to dismiss an underperforming person with a disability than someone without one.

And 24 per cent say concerns over higher absentee rates discouraged them from hiring a person with a disability.

Perceived expense tied to hiring an employee with a disability and increased effort to train employees were also cited as concerns.

However, employers surveyed also believed hiring an individual with a disability could add both value and a fresh perspective to the workplace.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents say the idea that employees with a disability will try harder would motivate them to hire.

The same percentage say they would be motivated to hire people with disabilities because they bring a fresh perspective.