What facilitates the entry of persons with disabilities into South African companies?

Wiggett-Barnard C. ; Swartz L. (2012)

Article

Purpose: The persistent high unemployment rate for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is a world-wide concern. The aim of this research was to identify facilitating factors for the entry of PWDs into the labour market. Method: A survey of Human Resources (HR) managers in South African (SA) companies was conducted to explore what would assist with hiring PWDs. The sample population of companies was identified through the Marketline Library database and supplemented with all Johannesburg Stock Exchange companies. This rendered a population size of 348. Results: A response rate of 25% (86) was achieved. Companies that have appointed PWDs in the past seem more willing to appoint PWDs in the future. Companies value information on accommodation (preparation of the environment and cost) and the impact of disability on job performance most. The use of specialised recruitment agencies, the development of targeted recruitment plans and staff sensitisation training, as well as internships are perceived as the best facilitators for the employment of PWDs. Conclusions: Rehabilitation practitioners can inform PWDs on the best strategies for approaching companies. Companies with facilitating factors already in place may also be more willing to employ PWDs and rehabilitation practitioners can target these companies as future employers of PWDs. Implications for Rehabilitation PWDs face many challenges in accessing employment, despite legislative improvements in recent years. Understanding employers' point of view and concerns may be an important factor in determining successful integration of PWDs into the open labour market. Rehabilitation interventions should also focus on employer sensitisation and preparation, and not just Disabled Persons' Organizations and PWDs. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.

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