Although workplace adjustments have traditionally been for people with disability and employees that have returned to work due to illness or injury, being flexible and accommodating in the workplace benefits many employees.
In creating an environment of access and inclusion, workplace adjustments can remove barriers to accessing premises, technology, and other infrastructure.
Even if a workplace is complying with applicable standards, a person may still be faced with challenges in navigating the physical environment as well as in using communications and digital platforms. A workplace which may not have been created with accessibility in mind can create unintended barriers and this is where workplace adjustments can improve access.
Around 1.1 million people in Victoria have disability, and approximately 60 per cent of those employed will require workplace adjustments. The process to access and deliver effective workplace adjustments needs to be part of good work practice and a combined effort between managers and employees.
Do you have what you need?
As a best practice example of what we should do with every employee, not just people with disability, is ask – “Do you have what you need to do your job effectively?”
Over a third of people with disability do not feel comfortable to share their disability information to their employer. Until this changes, we must ensure that employees can ask for what they need in order to reach their full potential.
We can make a difference in our culture by asking the question of everyone: Do you have what you need to do your job effectively?
A common misconception is that workplace adjustments are expensive. In fact, most workplace adjustments cost nothing and for those that do cost money, the cost is usually very low for employers.
If the workplace adjustment does require significant cost, Job Access, a federal government service can assist organisations with up to $30,000. Visit Job access for more information.
The benefits of workplace adjustments are significant as they improve co-worker relations, productivity, profitability, safety and customer relations.
For confidential expert advice on matters relating to the employment of people with disability, contact the JobAccess Advisers free of charge.
Free call: 1800 464 800
Fax: 08 9382 9277
Online: Online Enquiry Form
Post: PO Box 1764, Osborne Park DC, WA 6916
Employment Assistance Fund (EAF)
This federal government assistance program provides financial assistance to purchase work related modifications for people with disability. These can include workplace adjustments, adaptive equipment, Auslan interpreting and training.
To apply, visit the Job Access Website
The following are the type of adjustments you may need to make;
- Flexible work arrangements, such as working part-time or starting and finishing later
- Moving furniture or providing a ramp;
- Providing additional training, mentoring or support;
- Making changes to interview processes to enable a person with disability to demonstrate their ability to do the job
- Providing software such as Screen Readers or voice to text options