Assessing the accommodation of employees with disabilities in Nedbank Retail Division, South Africa.
Xulu, Londeka Ignatia.
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Reasonable accommodations are the means by employers to enable the people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. It refers to modifications or alterations to the way a job is normally performed to make it possible for a suitably qualified person with a disability to perform as everyone else does. Employers should reasonably accommodate the needs of people with disabilities; this is both non-discrimination and an affirmative action requirement. Providing reasonable workplace accommodation for employees with disabilities (PWDs) has been associated with enhanced job tenure, performance, and satisfaction. However, employers have struggled to effectively meet employees’ accommodation requests. PWDs can demonstrate their ability and contribute equally alongside fellow workers if organisations remove unfair discriminatory barriers to their employment and make reasonable accommodation for their needs. The most important part of the law against disability discrimination is the duty of employers to make reasonable adjustments. Basically, this means that where workers are disadvantaged by workplace practices because of their disability, employers must take reasonable steps, for example, by adjusting hours or duties, buying or modifying equipment or allowing time off so that they can carry out their job. This research is about the reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities in Nedbank retail which consists of 17 250 employees of which 677 have disabilities (Nedbank Retail Disability Report, 2015). The target population consists of people with disabilities in Nedbank retail. The sample of 215 PWDs was drawn using a probability sampling technique called simple random sampling and comprised of senior and middle managers with disabilities as well as PWDs from the level of junior staff. Data was collected using both self-administered questionnaires (whose psychometric properties were statistically assessed) and face-to-face interviews. Data from the former was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics and interview data was assessed using content analysis. The results of the study enlighten employers on how to manage expectations on reasonable accommodation of employees with disabilities thereby, avoiding being discriminatory when dealing with issues of disability. Based on the results of the study, recommendations are generated, which when effectively implemented have the potential to contribute to better accommodation of PWDs in the workplace, thereby creating a great place to work for all.