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Retaining people with disability 

By Paul Wilson

Here are some tips to ensure you keep your employees for longer:Provide information and support 

New employees will settle in quickly if you give them all the information they need to understand your business. Importantly, they will want to understand your core business and to get a feel for the culture your business promotes. Induction information and the allocation of a ‘buddy’ can help to ease this process.  

Awareness training for employees 

There is funding for training programs to assist with the continued education of employers and co-workers. These include generic disability awareness training, deafness awareness training and mental health awareness training.  

On the job support 

Disability Employment Services (DES) providers can assist with access to specialist services and expertise in the areas of health or learning disorders. The Employment Assistance Fund is also available for workplace modifications and equipment.  

Ongoing support 

Regular discussions between you, your employee and the DES can assist with any issues arising in the workplace. The DES provider can provide assistance with mentoring and support. The understanding and flexibility shown during the settling-in period will establish a firm foundation for future success.  

Offer workplace flexibility 

The capacity of an employer to offer flexibility and workplace choices is a critical component of an attraction and retention strategy – further details in the next section of the guide.  

Offer training opportunities and professional development

Keeping an employee engaged through providing opportunities to learn new skills may prolong the time an employee stays with your company. WESTERN AUSTRALIA 

Providing workplace flexibility  

Flexible work practices are needed to cater to the individual needs of your employees. A flexible workplace can help employees manage:  

  • fluctuating periods of health  
  • attendance at medical appointments  
  • their ability to fit in with their carer’s tasks  
  • care of children or other relatives and responsibilities.  

Flexible working hours  

You may be able to offer flexible start and finish times, part time work or job sharing arrangements. Consult with employees about rostering and compressed hours opportunities. Offer employees the option to make-up time if they need to attend medical or other appointments.  

Match tasks to your employees’ varying capacities  

Offer employees multi-skilling and job rotation, training and transfer opportunities to meet workplace needs. If an employee is finding it hard to do a task provide assistance, offer support or encourage another employee to assist with the task. When an employee returns after extended leave, provide support and appropriate training to refresh skills.  

Flexibility with sick, carer and other types of leave  

Give employees flexibility with their leave. This could include taking leave in single days, taking leave without pay and extended or special leave. You may also consider hiring casuals temporarily to replace employees on extended leave.  

Home-based work  

Think about letting employees work from home (teleworking). Teleworking is a flexible working arrangement where employees work away from the traditional office, such as at home or in a remote location, with the assistance of information technology.  

Employing teleworkers lets you employ people who find it hard to be part of the traditional workforce. This may be of particular benefit for carers and workers in rural and regional areas.

As well as the business benefits, the benefits to your employees are many – less mobility problems, less travel time and cost, better work-life balance, and greater flexibility in working hours.  


Here are some tips to ensure you keep your employees for longer:

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