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Majority of Australians unaware of workplace adjustments

This is a major challenge and missed opportunity for employers.

Content Insights

Three in five admitting to being uninformed.
40% of respondents report benefiting from workplace adjustments.
Australian businesses to create safe and inclusive workplaces for employees with disabilities.

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Many Australians lack awareness of workplace adjustments, with three in five admitting to being uninformed, leading to calls for employers to bridge the knowledge gap.

Workplace adjustments involve administrative, environmental, or procedural changes that facilitate equitable employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to work effectively and comfortably, as defined by JobAccess.

Despite this, JobAccess’s recent national survey of over 1,000 Australians reveals that 60% of respondents are unfamiliar with workplace adjustments, and 59% of individuals with disabilities claim ignorance about them.

JobAccess General Manager Daniel Valiente-Riedl emphasised the significance of addressing this issue, considering that Australia’s disability employment gap has remained unchanged for two decades, coupled with the persistent skills shortage faced by businesses.

JobAccess’s recent national survey of over 1,000 Australians reveals that 60% of respondents are unfamiliar with workplace adjustments

One prevailing misconception surrounding workplace adjustments is the perceived cost, with 40% believing it to be substantial. Respondents estimate an average cost of $6,800, while employed individuals put it at $8,040. Valiente-Riedl counters this by stating that most adjustments, according to JobAccess’s internal research, cost less than $1,000, and some, like flexible working hours, come at no cost and benefit all employees.

Despite the lack of awareness, nearly 40% of respondents report benefiting from workplace adjustments, particularly through flexible work arrangements. Other advantages cited include additional training and mentoring, access to assistive technology, support or counselling in the workplace, and improved job sustainability.

Over 60% of respondents believe employers are responsible for implementing workplace adjustments, while 76% consider it an important part of a manager’s role. However, only 30% claim to know how to arrange workplace adjustments, with 72% unsure or unaware of the process due to low awareness, lack of confidence, and perceived difficulty.

JobAccess aims to fill this knowledge gap and emphasises the need for Australian businesses to create safe and inclusive workplaces for employees with disabilities. The organisation has handled over 65,000 funding applications for workplace modifications, support, and training for both employers and individuals with disabilities.

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