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The Benefits Of Inclusive Employment

There are many proven benefits to hiring employees with disabilities. Here are some of them: for employers, employees, and communities!

Benefits of Inclusive Employment

Employer benefits

Community benefits

Employee benefits

Employer benefits of inclusive employment


  • Markets hiring people with various types disabilities increased sales (Buciuniene 2010)

  • Hiring people with various types of disabilities in the hospitality industry improved profits and increased business growth

  • One company reported over $19 million in financial benefits, mainly in the form of tax credits, over a six-year period, and an additional savings of $8.4 million on recruitment and training due to improved retention (Kalargyrou and Volis; Zivolich)

Turnover and retention

  • Turnover was 30% lower at supermarkets employing people with disabilities (Buciuniene)

  • Disabled McDonalds' employees stayed with the company longer and worked more days, saving employers money compared to non-disabled employees (Cimera 2009)

  • Zivolich and Weiner-Zivolich found one national restaurant chain saved more than $8 million over a 6-year period due to reduced turnover rates after hiring people with disabilities. Moreover, people with disabilities in retail and hospitality sectors had longer job tenure compared to those without disabilities (23.7 and 50 months longer, respectively].

Reliability and punctuality

  • Disabled employees in various industries were much more reliable than workers without disabilities (Graffam)

  • Employees with disabilities took 73% less time off work than other employees

Company image

  • Hiring people with various types of disabilities improved company image (Harnett)

  • Disabled employees in the hospitality sector created a positive company image (Kalagyrou and Volis)

  • Coffee shop employers report that hearing impaired employees add value to the company, especially through enhancing an image of caring and inclusivity

Diverse and loyal customers

  • Numerous studies reported increased customer loyalty in various industries related to hiring people with a wide range of disabilities

  • Buciuniene and Kazlauskaite reported a more diversified customer base as a result of hiring people with disabilities. Specifically, employers noticed that more customers with disabilities began shopping at the stores with employees with disabilities to interact with them.


  • In hospitality and retail, disabled employees improve workplace productivity (Kalargyrou)

  • Employees with developmental disabilities are hardworking and efficient, while autistic employees perform above average in attention to detail and work ethic (Irvine; Scott)

  • Across different industries, 61% of employers considered productivity as a benefit of hiring people with disabilities


  • People with disabilities had 34% fewer accidents than other employees (Kaletta)

  • People with cognitive impairments in the hospitality industry have above average safety records (Kaletta)

Inclusive work culture

  • Hiring disabled persons in telecommunications improved co-worker partnerships (Kalef)

  • Owen et al. noted that having people with developmental disabilities in the workforce facilitated the enhancement of social inclusion and workplace well-being

  • Scott et al. found that the presence of employees with autism encouraged the development of a more inclusive workplace culture

Community benefits of inclusive employment

  • In one study, the economic benefit to the community of hiring disabled persons was estimated at $12 million through taxes paid by new workers with disabilities. Taxpayers saved an additional $43 million resulting from reduced social welfare payments and rehabilitation costs (Zivolich)

  • Hiring people with intellectual disabilities is economically beneficial to the community because employment is a cheaper alternative to income and welfare support measures (Eggleton)

Employee benefits of inclusive employment

  • Individuals with intellectual disabilities in open employment had overall higher quality of life than those not employed or in sheltered employment

  • Adults with intellectual disabilities in open employment settings demonstrated a higher level of community integration, and increased feelings of empowerment and independence

  • Disabled persons who are employed have enhanced self-confidence, an expanded social network, and a greater sense of community

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