Widespread ignorance, fear and stereotypes cause people with disabilities to be unfairly discriminated against in society and in employment. As a result, people with disabilities experience high unemployment levels and, in the workplace, often remain in low status jobs and earn lower than average remuneration.
Unfair disability discrimination is perpetuated in many ways. There are many unfounded assumptions about the abilities and performance of job applicants and employees with disabilities. Employers set criteria for selection that exclude disabled people. Workplaces are inaccessible and training is inappropriate for people with disabilities or not available at all.
Employees who become disabled are often dismissed for poor performance or incapacity or they resign unnecessarily. They are often encouraged or forced to apply for disability benefits and they tend to retire earlier than other employees do, although if their needs are reasonably accommodated, they can continue as productive employees.
However people with disabilities can demonstrate their ability and contribute equally alongside fellow workers if enterprises remove unfair discriminatory barriers to their employment and make reasonable accommodation for their needs.
People with disabilities can contribute their skills and abilities to the economy and society. The cost of claims on public social security and occupational benefit schemes can be reduced if employees with disabilities are retained at work.