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Employers ‘must support disabled workers’

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A staggering 92% of employees who left work due to disability, believe they could have remained in full-time employment had their employers done more to facilitate their stay.

The figures form part of a new report, published by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), which found that keeping a newly disabled person in employment has a cost benefit of two-and-a-half times an employer’s initial investment.

According to the report, by keeping employees instead of pushing them towards the door, intentionally or otherwise, employers retain an employee’s accumulated skills and experience, while allowing an employee to maintain income and independence.

Other savings for businesses detailed within the report include:
• avoidance of redundancy pay or the costs associated with terminating employment;
• reduced costs of someone on long-term sick leave;
• the costs of recruitment and induction training for replacement staff;
• avoidance of costs from a claim arising from disability discrimination cases; and
• intangible benefits of increased staff loyalty and morale, as well as a workforce more representative of its customers and community.
“Obviously the priority in this situation is supporting the employee through what may be a difficult time,” said Acas Chief Executive John Taylor in the report’s foreword. “As with all change in the workplace, good communication is essential. If adjustments need to be made employers need to speak to the individual and ensure that other team members are kept informed.

“ACAS firmly supports measures to retain employees who acquire health issues or long term impairments. As well as helping to build a stronger relationship between employer and employee there are strong business reasons for doing so. This report makes the case convincingly, setting out the costs and the potential savings that can be realised by a policy of vocational rehabilitation.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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