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Free services and help available when hiring disabled people

Learn about workplace modifications and assessments, wage subsidies and workplace support

Work and Income – has a range of services and initiatives to help you. They’ll work with you to find out what you need when you employ someone with a disability. Their aim is to match people to jobs that suit their particular skills.

  • Fee-free recruitment - provides you with a no-fee recruitment service.
  • EmployAbility - is a new approach to supporting you hire someone on a benefit with a health condition or disability. Work and Income will work with you to match the right person with the right skills to the right job.
  • In Work Support – helps you with any issues that arise with a new employee. Your employee can also receive help with learning new skills and advice on any challenges they may face as they move into their new job.
  • Flexi-Wage – is a temporary wage subsidy to help you take on someone on a benefit as an employee. You may also get help with their training costs through Flexi-Wage Plus.
  • Modification Grant – helps pay for the costs of special equipment or modifications to remove physical barriers at your premises, so disabled people can get work and keep working
  • Mainstream – is a programme which provides a package of subsidies, training and other support to help people with significant disabilities get work in selected public and private sector organisations.

If you want to get in touch with Work and Income about their services and assistance you can either:

  • talk to a work broker at your local Work and Income service centre
  • call the Employer line on 0800 778 008.

Workbridge administers Support Funds on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development. This Fund can help disabled people and their employers meet the costs of disability in employment and training. This may include paying for special equipment, transport costs and New Zealand Sign Language interpreters.

They can also help you with finding disabled employees and follow-up support after hiring.

ACC can help you with modifications and provide advice about how to assist your employees who have acquired a disability through injury, return to work.

Employment NZ provides a range of resources for employers, including a section on employment for disabled people.

The Ministry of Health also runs the Mobility Action Programme to support people with musculoskeletal health conditions, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and osteoporosis (OP) to access publicly funded services that reduce pain and other consequences of the conditions, and enable participation in everyday activities including work.

Disability Confident campaign

The Disability Confident campaign, which is being led by Minister for Disability Issues Nicky Wagner, will run until June 2017. It is focused on two key aspects:

  • highlighting the many benefits of employing disabled people and,
  • making it easy for employers to get the information they need to become ‘disability confident’.

You can contact the campaign at disabilityconfidentnz@msd.govt.nz .

You can download the following campaign material: