There Are Many Benefits to Hiring People with Disabilities
One in four adults, or more than 61 million adults in the United States, have a disability. Many businesses assume that hiring people with disabilities will negatively affect the workplace. However, that stigma is detrimental to employees and the companies everywhere. Employer Support Services is clarifying the many substantial benefits that companies can realize by hiring highly-qualified employees who have disabilities. From tax incentives to staying legally compliant, hiring people with disabilities can give your company an advantage.
Hire People with Disabilities to Qualify for Tax Incentives
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows companies that are accommodating to people with disabilities the opportunity to qualify for three tax credits and deductions. The credits and deductions can help the company cover costs for purchasing adaptive equipment or accessibility modifications for employees who need it.
- Disabled Access Credit
“The Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. An eligible small business is one that earned $1 million or less or had no more than 30 full time employees in the previous year; they may take the credit each and every year they incur access expenditures.” Read more about this credit on the IRS website.
- Barrier Removal Tax Deduction
“The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Businesses may claim a deduction of up to $15,000 a year for qualified expenses for items that normally must be capitalized.” Read more about this deduction on the IRS website.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit
“The credit provides employers incentives to hire qualified individuals from these target groups. The maximum tax credit ranges from $1,200 to $9,600, depending on the employee hired and the length of employment. The credit is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. This includes people with disabilities and veterans.” Read more about this credit on the IRS website.
Diversify the Workplace to Reduce Legal Issues
Hiring disabled people can bring a diversity of ideas, creativity, and problem solving into the workplace. It can also diversify your workforce. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, “No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.”
As a company, you cannot legally discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability – doing so can end with a lawsuit. Hiring people with disabilities, however, can show that you do not discriminate and can prevent a lawsuit. Limiting the risk of legal problems by being in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act will help ensure you do not incur financial damage.
Expand Your Hiring Pool
Only about 19 percent of people with a disability are employed according to the BLS, compared to approximately 65 percent of people without a disability. There is a large, untapped market ready to be hired by businesses needing qualified and able employees. While the misconception is that people with disabilities are not capable of performing the job, that is untrue especially considering that the most common type of disability is a mobility disability according to the CDC.
In addition, there are many adaptive pieces of equipment and techniques that are available to those with a disability. These devices and techniques allow them to perform on a level that is equal to those without a disability. Businesses who struggle to attract qualified candidates because they cannot offer competitive incentives can tap into this overlooked talent pool for capable candidates without having to sacrifice quality.
Improve Retention Rates
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Disability (UNDESA), people with disabilities have better retention rates and less absenteeism, and perform at an equal or higher rate. One study, which was published by the (UNDESA), found that the retention rate of employees with disabilities was 85 percent after one year. With turnover being one of the biggest costs for a company, the benefit of retaining talent can help businesses reduce substantial financial loss on a yearly basis.
Create a Positive Company Image with Inclusivity
Creating a culture of acceptance with a diverse workgroup can give your company a more positive company image. In addition, the hires can positively impact your current staff. Phillip H., president of Carolina Fine Snacks, reported that “the new employee’s attitude was contagious: some of the non-disabled employees began to improve their performance.”
A study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health also reported that the most indirect benefits from implementing workplace disability accommodations included, improved coworker interactions, improved company morale, and increased company productivity.
Contact ESS for Help in Recruiting and Retaining Disabled Employees
Hiring people with disabilities can provide many positive benefits to your company. If you would like help in recruiting and retaining disabled employees, contact Employer Support Services today. We can help your company hire the qualified employees it needs and ensure a positive onboarding experience. Contact us today by calling 225-364-3000.