Financial Incentives for Hiring People with Disabilities

Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET


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)

You will learn about recommendations that can be implemented in the workplace:

  • 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.

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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.

Hosted by

Rebecca Gewurtz

Rebecca Gewurtz, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz is an occupational therapist and associate professor in the School or Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Her research is focused on work disability policy, income security, employment supports among people living with mental illness and other episodic disabilities in Canada. She uses primarily qualitative methods in her research but has collaborated on projects using quantitative and mixed method approaches to examine the experiences of people with disabilities in Canada as they seek and retain employment, or apply for income replacement benefits.
emile tompa

Emile Tompa, PhD

Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health​
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.​​

Moderated by

Maureen Haan photo re Susanne Bruyere webinar Apr 2019

Maureen Haan

​President and CEO of the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
Maureen Haan is the President and CEO of the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work. The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work focuses on supporting Job Seekers with disabilities and Employers across Canada.​​

Partially funded by

BC Government
This program is pre-approved by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA Canada) for one hour training session.
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