People with physical or mental disabilities are still all too often assumed to be less productive in the work process. Diversity management can help bring their skills and potential to the fore and optimise work processes. This includes, among other things, freedom from barriers when accessing the place of work. In addition, for this dimension the impairment of abilities at different phases of life and the associated adaptation of jobs to respective capabilities also play a role. At a number of organisations, the “disAbility manager” or “representative for the disabled” ensures that the deployability of all employees is safeguarded. The goal is to record the skills of individual employees with a disability and the requirements that are posed to jobs and workstations. For the right “match”, meaning the optimum interrelationship, adaptations are carried out at workstations and employees are qualified for certain requirements. In some organisations, diversity management is actively supported in doing so by the representative for the disabled.
There is a statutory provision for this dimension in Germany: the contingent for the employment of severely disabled persons. This contingent is 5 percent for companies with more than 20 employees. A large number of companies do not achieve the required contingent and pay a compensatory contribution. This need not necessarily be because too few people in the company have a disability. Invisible disabilities are often concealed because of fear of bias or discrimination. Diversity management can establish a culture that creates enough confidence to declare a disability. For companies, this also brings the advantage of avoiding the financial commitments associated with not fulfilling the statutory contingent.
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