Open minds & doors for disabled Kiwis

Open minds & doors for disabled Kiwis

June 1, 2016

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed the Government’s Hidden Talent Tour to encourage employers to take on more New Zealanders with disabilities.

“We encourage employers to open their minds and their company doors for the Hidden Talent Tour,” said Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson.

“Thousands of New Zealanders with disabilities are valued, skilled employees and thousands more are waiting to be employed.”

Disability Rights Minister Nicky Wagner launched the Hidden Talent Tour in Hamilton today. Only 45% of disabled adults are employed compared with 72% of non- disabled adults in New Zealand.

“As a result of our 2015 Tracking Equality at Work programme, we recommended the government implement a long term work programme to improve employment outcomes for disabled people. The Hidden Talents Tour alongside the LEAD toolkit for employing disabled people in the public sector is a good first step,” said Mr Gibson.

“Just being given a chance in the first place is the biggest barrier people with disabilities face when seeking employment.”

Under Recent law changes in the UK employers are obliged to interview disabled people who match the skill requirements for a job.

“As a result many more have successfully attained work as innovative employers recognise the potential they see during an interview.”

The business case for addressing employment discrimination is well established, as demonstrated by the Australian Human Rights Commission's Willing to Work report.

"It found increasing diversity across an organisation delivers tangible benefits in terms of productivity, performance and innovation; increased access to a broader talent pool and improvements to organisational reputation," said Mr Gibson.

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Learn about disabled peoples right to work here

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.