Defining people with disability is not a simple task, and it is attractive clear that not only one definition can cover all disabilities (Government of Canada, 2002). According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005), disabled is refer to people with permanent illness or mental impairment that substantially limits one or major activities for that people. Therefore, disabled employee will define as a person who works with limited duties than non disabled employee.
According to Human Resources Development Canada (2003), there are three key classification systems to define disability issue as well as the impairment, functional and ecological perception. Stone and Colella (1996) classify six different categories of disabilities which are physical conditions, mental conditions, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, neurological conditions and additive disorders. Thus, there are many types of disabilities that feel by disabled employee.
Employee is a person who is hired by another person or company for a salary or fixed compensation in exchange for personal services. According to UNIESCAP (2000), the entire figure of disabled people in the world is more than 500 million. Due to the increasing number of disabled person over the world, there is certain organization or company would like to hire this people as their employee.
Are there any negative effects of disabled employee in company that hire them? What are the negative effects of disabled employee in company? Disabled employee can give the negative effect on job qualification or performance concern, cost associated in the company and reactions or responses of others.
2.0 JOB QUALIFICATION
The first negative effect of disabled employee is job qualification or performance concerns. According to The American Heritage Dictionary (2000), job qualification will define as a quality or condition of a person that makes them suitable for a particular task. Disabled employee may lack appropriate career qualifications (Millington & Reed, 1997). In “Empowering the disabled,” (2008), postgraduate degrees and professional qualifications fail to impress when the recipient is perceived as being "different" from others. Many employers strongly resist employing people with disabilities, believing they are not cost-effective and will be unable to perform their jobs.
They do not have the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics for job performance such as production skills, socialization skills, trainability, dependability and motivation. This is because there is a lower percentage of disabled employees that have bachelor’s degrees or higher levels of education in contrast to people without disabilities. According to “Rehabilitation Research and Training” (2005, as cited in Lengnick-Hall, Gaunt, and Mukta, 2008), show that a greater percentage of people without disabilities had bachelor’s degree or more (30.1%) in comparison to people with disabilities (12.8%). Thus, the employer in many companies may feel worry and fear in order to hire them for a certain job that need skills and good abilities to perform.
Other than that, disabled employee also cannot achieve challenging duties (Colella, 1994). Most of them do not reach or fulfill their potential in the workplace. They have certain limits in doing their work tasks because of disabilities. In other word, disabled employee has more weakness than normal employee. Besides that, the disabled employee will be fewer productive than non disabled workers. This effect also comes from their disabilities which makes them difficult to do the jobs easily and quickly in order to achieve the productivity of work. The productivity here means proper job fit such as suitable menial or repetitive tasks for disabled employee to perform. For example, in transport industry needs employee achieved certain target of trip. So, disabled employees do not achieve this level of performance because of their disabilities.
3.0 COST ASSOCIATED IN THE COMPANIES
The second negative effect of disabled employee is cost associated in the companies. The cost that associated comes from health care expenses, accident and safety cost and facilities cost. Disabled employees deserve higher health care expenses than those without disabilities. They need more health care benefits because of the illness and injury that they deserve before. The injury or illness makes them less immune and easy to get sickness than normal employee.
Besides that, disabled employee also has extra accidents and poses more safety trouble than non disabled employee. This problem will occur during the operation or working time. Disabled employees that have less skills in production operation will contribute to accident. Therefore, the employer needs to provide more safety equipment and safety program in order to overcome this problem and these will cost them much.
According to Schartz, Hendricks, & Blanch (2006), reasonable facilities are complicated and expensive to implement. These expensive accommodations and other funds are necessary in order to hire and sustain employee with disabilities and balance productivity. According to Mitchell, Alliger, and Morfopoulos (1997) found that the most common accommodations include special equipment (18%), scheduling of breaks or flextime (16%), task substitute (11%), office redesign (10%), computer software (10%) and increased access (10%). Thus, the employer bears more money in order to hire disabled employee as one of their workers.
4.0 REACTION OR RESPONSE OF OTHERS
The third negative effect of disabled employee is reaction or response of others. According to Lengnick-Hall et al., (2008), they found that co-workers may respond pessimistically to work with disabled employee. This negative respond occurs when mental and emotional disabilities of disabled employee are involved (Greenwood & Johnson, 1987). There are three possibilities co-workers respond pessimistically with disabled employee which are they may fear a negative effect on work-related, personal and interpersonal outcomes.
Besides that, clients also may react badly to disabled employee and will affect the company’s bottom line. For work related outcomes, customers may fear that employees with disabilities do not produce high-quality products or are incapable of delivering the same level of service as workers without disabilities (Lengnick-Hall et al., 2008). This respond will come from customers who do not have disabilities because they feel discomfort and awkwardness when interact with disabled employees.
Lastly the negative effect is a fear of the unfamiliar in working with disabled employee such as how to communicate with them. Co-worker may feel awkward, discomfort, ambivalence, and guilt about how they should interact with disabled employee. This reaction will result in avoidance behavior and exclusion of disabled employee from formal and informal workgroups.
As a conclusion, employers may choose not to hire people with disabilities because they concern all of the negative effect that disabled employee will contribute to their companies. However, the employment of people with disabilities should be improving because every person in the world must work to obtain income, to support themselves and their families, to acquire the fulfillment that can be resulting from a job and career and to make contributions such as profit and revenue to the organization.
Other than that, the society could save much in benefits payments alone if more people with disabilities were employed. This result comes from the ability of disabled employee that able to pay taxes, have more income to purchase goods and services and reduce their dependency on taxpayer-supported assistance programs. So, they also will make contributions to the society. Lastly, disabled person should improve and fulfill themselves with all the criteria that employer needs to ensure that they are being employed in the company.
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