Taking action to promote the employment of disabled people

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni welcomes the release of the Labour market statistics (disability): June 2018 quarter.

“This government recognises disabled people fare worse in employment. They are three times less likely to be in work than non-disabled people and the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people is sitting at 48 percentage points,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The survey also shows a high rate of young disabled people who are NEET (not in employment, education, or training), currently 43 percent. Improving successful transitions from school and further education is crucial, as it affects their whole of life outcomes.

“The Government can’t shift the dial on employment of disabled people by itself.  We need government agencies, disability organisations, employers and disabled people working together.

“I want employers to know that employing disabled people is good for business. They are motivated, reliable and productive.

“The public sector is taking the lead on the employment of disabled people. There is cross-government development of a more diverse and inclusive State sector workforce, a LEAD toolkit which provides guidance to support the employment and retention of disabled people in the State sector, and an accessibility charter which sets out an organisation’s intentions to improve the accessibility of its information, premises, and services.

“I have also been working with the Minister of Employment Willie Jackson and the Disability sector to identify practical and positive employment outcomes for disabled people and youth.

“One of the things we are proud of is the recent launch of Mana in Mahi: Strength in Work, whereby Government pays employers the equivalent of the benefit to hire apprentices. We’ve already had an overwhelming response from employers who are keen to provide skills and training for sustainable employment, including for disabled people,” Willie Jackson said.

Carmel Sepuloni says the Government’s work to overhaul the welfare system will also focus on enabling more disabled people to make the transition to sustainable and meaningful employment, and provide adequate support for them to reach their potential.

Information about MSD Supports for Employers to hire Disabled People

  • MSD can support employers to have greater confidence in employing disabled people, including disability confident information and an employer advice line for questions about managing and supporting disabled staff at work at 0800 805 405. 
  • Support funds are also available to employers to meet additional costs, such as equipment, workplace modifications, and New Zealand Sign Language interpreters.
  • Employment and training opportunities are also supported through industry partnerships and wage subsidies.
  • For jobseekers, MSD offers a range of supports and services including employment co-ordinators, job search services and work brokers, as well as disability specific employment supports.