Apart from the need to 'reasonably accommodate' employees with a disability set out in equality law, it makes good business sense to promote diversity in the workplace. Research shows that diversity contributes to increased innovation, productivity and staff retention in Irish firms. Investors are also interested in organisations that have responsible employment practices. Progressive organisations understand that employing people with disabilities is an important benefit to their business, as well as a contribution to society.
A diverse workforce can enable an organisation to gain a greater appreciation of the needs of its consumers. For instance, it has been estimated that nearly 40 million people in the EU have a disability. By employing people with disabilities, a company is adding value to the business and it will be more likely to meet the needs of people with disabilities as consumers. Furthermore, this can increase customer loyalty, as consumers will respond favourably towards a company where differences are recognised, valued and embraced.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008