January 22, 2013
Talented disabled workers overlooked, finds federal panel
Many companies struggling to find the right employees are overlooking a talented pool of disabled workers, a government-commissioned panel has found.
The group found that there are almost 800,000 people with disabilities who are capable of working in Canada and almost half of them have post-secondary education.
Previous reports have found that even the disabled who have jobs are often dramatically underemployed.
“Canada is facing skills and labour shortages in many sectors, and finding ways to get all Canadians working is key to meeting this challenge,” Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said in a statement as she and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released the report on Jan. 16.
The panel of private-sector employers was assembled by the federal government last summer and was asked to figure out how to better match job openings with the skills of workers with disabilities. Their report says that when companies hire people with disabilities, no special accommodation is required in 57 per cent of cases.
When special arrangements are necessary, the average cost to the company is just $500.
“There is a strong business case to be made for businesses hiring people with disabilities,’’ said Kenneth Fredeen, general counsel of Deloitte and Touche and chairman of the panel.
The panel spoke with 70 employers and received 130 on-line submissions. Panel members found that there is a broad willingness to hire workers with disabilities, but that more education and training is needed for companies to figure out how to overcome barriers and put their ideas into practice.
“Tone from the top and the actions of leaders are imperative,’’ the report said.
Most of the companies contacted had policies and practices to accommodate existing employees with disabilities, but were not making good use of this expertise to hire more, the report added.
Mental health disabilities were found to be particularly problematic. That’s because employees have to admit to such disabilities in order to get special accommodation from employers.
“Many are reluctant to do so if the disability is hidden and/or stigmatized,’’ the report says. “Several companies commented that colleagues may be less understanding of mental health issues than other more visible disabilities.’’
In 2006, about 14.3 per cent of the population, or 4.4 million people, reported a disability of some kind.
Among the working-age population, eight per cent of those aged 25 to 44 had a disability, while 18.3 per cent of those in the 45-to-64 bracket reported being disabled.
Workers with disabilities are dramatically under-represented in private-sector companies governed by the Employment Equity Act, says the most recent annual government report on disability issues. However, they are over-represented in the public service.
Labour force participation among people with disabilities is low, with 59.6 per cent active in the workforce. That’s much lower than among people without disabilities, where 80.2 per cent of working-age adults are in the workforce.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2012
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- OPG $1 billion proposal to bury nuclear waste up for comment
- Hundreds of workers to be out of work as Caterpillar Inc. is set to close Toronto factory
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
- Ontario prompt payment bill to get second reading today
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$90,000,000 Richmond Hill ON Prebid
$82,000,000 White River Twp ON Tenders
$40,650,000 Markham ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Multi-employer approach needed in apprenticeships
- New Perspective
- ACEC’s input helps develop global engineering guidelines
- Clerk of works position gives peace of mind on projects
- World Trade Center developer’s plan for a 926-foot tower moving ahead
- Call for action after MOL says workers are responsible for their own safety
- Cold spring and weak construction hurt Deere’s 2013 predictions
- CanBIM reschedule June session
- More green roofs top Toronto buildings
- Witness recants testimony in Montreal corruption case
- Construction Site Arson
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)