Do people that have a disability represent to business as an opportunity for profit or are they a burden, at best seen as either objects of pity or charity recipients?
I have some 40 employees who have a disability working for NOVA. I have often stated here and elsewhere that these number amongst our most successful and valued employees. That’s said, not because I feel under obligation but as a simple, verifiable fact.
My organisation (and me) value our colleagues as respected peers and our job seekers as potential employees.
I note that a foreign owned ‘for profit’ website has recently changed its pitch for their job seekers and no longer state that hiring people with a disability will reduce overall wage costs (through the use of subsidies). However, the present 100% of salary for 26 weeks should be seen for what it clearly is: a damning indictment of the programs real beliefs about its job seekers.
Why offer such a large subsidy?
Because right now, disability employment services are being evaluated and judged as to fitness to keep or acquire ‘business share’ (that’s actually people) and better apparent results will lead to a greater number of people being sent to you.
Slap my wrist for being suspicious but, were I to have access to significant overseas money I might trade present profitability for future market share. Not so much now, but plenty to export later.
However, that’s not the biggest issue.
The real damage occurs in the minds of the recipients of the subsidy – Australian business owners. Providing 100% of workers’ wages creates 2 problems; 1 A business distortion that provides one employer with subsidised employees and 2 a most damaging suggestion that workers with disability are, as we used to refer to them, ‘invalid’ or otherwise worthless.
That’s not the case.
The shame is that the distortion was allowed to occur, remains a feature of disability employment and will be used to evaluate quality.
NOVA remains committed to marketing the skills and abilities of job seekers not as a quick path to business subsidy but rather as they truly are a rich resource of talent and ability that smart business owners do well to include in their hiring mix.
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