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Benefits of incorporating people with disabilities

Health disadvantage is a part of human life. It is very likely that each of us will experience it at some point in our lives, either as a temporary or permanent condition. As many as 84,300 working people of productive age suffer from some form of health handicap, statistical data for Slovakia showed in 2019. It is expected that their number will grow as the average age of the population increases.

A medical handicap or disability makes it difficult to perform certain activities or interact with the world around you. The category of health handicaps includes various physical and mental limitations, while not all of them are obvious at first glance - some may be so-called invisible disadvantages.

Each word has its own meaning, therefore the designation "disability" or "disadvantage" sometimes carries with it a negative connotation, so we prefer to use the term "altered ability to work" in cases where appropriate.

A wasted opportunity

Companies that use best practices for hiring and supporting people with disabilities achieve better results than others, Accenture research has shown.

Organizations creating inclusive work environments achieved an average of 38% higher revenue, 30% higher profit margins and double net income compared to other companies in the same industry.

People with disabilities foster a diversity of workforce and corporate culture. There are tens of thousands of people in Slovakia who are not currently working, the employment offices register more than 9,000 job seekers who are also disabled. From their point of view, it is important to know which companies really support their needs, goals and dreams.

Colleagues with changed work ability

We are aware that not all job positions are suitable for people with a changed working ability. This is precisely why we support our colleagues with altered work ability or temporary health problems (e.g. with a fracture):
• By temporary assignment to another workplace
• By changing the weekly contractual hours
• By allowing more frequent breaks
• Flexibility in scheduling or schedule changes due to rehabilitation


However, this is not enough – we want the composition of our workforce to reflect the diversity of the communities in which we operate. That's why we'll take steps to attract more female colleagues with altered working skills, while continuing to strengthen an inclusive environment. People with changed work ability need more than accessible spaces and technologies, they also need opportunities for career growth and an inclusion culture in the workplace.

 

Jakub Trojan
Jakub Trojan
hypermarket Partizánske

“Before joining Tesco, I was worried about how people would accept me. But my fear quickly passed. My colleagues pleasantly surprised me and accepted me among them without any prejudices. My manager accommodated me, I work two part-time jobs where I alternate between sitting and standing, which suits my health condition. I am proud to work in a company where I feel I can be myself.”

We present new rules and benefits that will further support colleagues with a changed work ability:

In July 2021, we will present the Rules for gradual return to work. Returning to work after a long break due to illness can be difficult both physically and psychologically – in some cases, a loss of self-confidence can even slow down recovery from medical treatment. Our new benefit will allow colleagues from stores, central office and distribution centers to cut their working hours in half for the first month after returning to work, while Tesco will match their salary to 100%.

Later this year, we plan to present the Rules for Adaptation of Working Conditions – guidance for line managers on how to support people with a changed working capacity and help them manage the practical effects of their health impairment. We will report on progress in this area in our next year´s report.

Hugh Garavelli
Hugh Garavelli
director of property and investment management for Central Europe and sponsor of the Program for the Support of Persons with Disabilities

“We believe that when we foster diversity that reflects the diversity of our customers, we will be stronger. Therefore, it is important that we focus on the development of colleagues' abilities and not their handicaps. It is our responsibility to work hard to remove any physical or cultural barrier that limits the ability of each colleague to develop their potential. We can be proud of the work we have done over the years to make our business more accessible. At the same time, we should all continue to think about what more we can do in this direction.”