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Financial Incentives for Hiring People with Disabilities

Diversity and Inclusion, Disability Management, Human Resources, Leadership, Mental Health
Free 1 hr

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Financial incentives are widely used in Canada and elsewhere as a way to address low employment among people with disabilities. They can take different forms, including wage subsidies, human resource supports, job coaching and job carving, retention supports, wrap-around supports, and covering the costs of accommodation. However, there has been little research examining how and when they work to improve employment opportunities, and little documentation on their current use and availability in Canada. Join Emile Tompa from the Institute for Work and Health and Rebecca Gewurtz from McMaster University as we explore what we have learned about the availability and use of financial incentives for employers, as well the experiences of stakeholders.

In this webinar we will:

  • Describe how financial incentives for employers are used in Canada to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Share the diverse and often conflicting perspectives towards financial incentives for employers among key stakeholders
  • Highlight key components of financial incentives for employers that have been identified by key stakeholders (people with disabilities, service providers and employers)

Take-home message:

  • The findings of this research highlight the critical role of job matching, job carving, job coaching, retention and wrap-around supports for successful employment outcomes of people with disabilities.

Learning Outcomes

There is a need for flexibility within the funding envelopes for employment supports so service providers can determine the best package of supports to help each job seeker secure employment.
The funding model for employment supports must support collaboration between service providers in order to adequately respond to the complex needs and challenges of people with disabilities and employers.
People with disabilities need reliable transportation to be able to get to work on time. Flexible hours of work can help resolve this challenge in some cases. Improvements to accessible public transportation would increase employment opportunities for many people with disabilities.
There is a need to revisit the disincentives to employment within provincial disability benefit programs to ensure recipients are able to work to their capacity.

Speakers

Rebecca Gewurtz, PhD
Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and completed a collaborative program through the CHSRF/CIHR in Health Services and Policy Research. Dr. Gewurtz' research focuses on work disability policy, income insecurity, and employment among people living with disabilities, with a focus on mental illness and other episodic disabilities. She has been examining the experiences of various stakeholders including people with disabilities, service providers, coworkers and employers as people with disabilities are hired and accommodated in diverse workplaces, as well as the impact and coordination of income security benefits. She has been involved in large partnership projects that include diverse community collaborators such as employers, non-profit social service organizations and government agencies. She has experience with participatory action research and co-designing solutions to complex workplace problems. Her recent work includes a focus on measuring accessibility, the experiences of people transitioning from homelessness to being housed, and the process of negotiating workplace accommodations. She has also been examining the impact of physical distancing policies associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income households.
Emile Tompa, PhD
Dr. Emile Tompa is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health, and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy. His research interests include the consequences of occupational health and safety system design on the health of individuals and populations, the economic evaluation of workplace interventions for improving the health of workers, the economic burden of adverse health conditions and disability, and the analysis of work disability policy systems.

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