Improving the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disability

Project dates: 2022 - Ongoing

Australia’s Disability Strategy has identified improvement in the economic participation of people with disability (PWD) as a national priority. Given that small businesses tend to hire PWD at a significantly lower rate than larger companies despite the benefits of disability-inclusive recruitment for both the company and employees, there is a need to undertake research to gain deeper insight into small business perceptions and practices in relation to the employment of PWD. 

Why is this important?

By adopting disability-inclusive recruitment and retention practices, this project will help small businesses to access a larger labour pool and, in so doing, their ability to attract the best employees for their business. Over time, more inclusive workplaces have been shown to lead to improved customer and employee loyalty, company reputation, and better innovation and financial returns. This is also good for society with increased inclusion linked to lower crime rates and better health outcomes, as well as increased tax revenues and a reduced welfare burden as more Australian’s enjoy the benefits of economic participation.

What will we do?

This project will improve small business capacity to employ people with disability by: (1) improving knowledge of requirements for disability-inclusive workplaces; (2) removing bias in recruitment; (3) enhancing retention through better employment supports; and (4) testing a range of capacity-building interventions deployed via a purpose-built knowledge-sharing platform. A logic model developed with the project partners will be used to ensure that project outputs are linked to outcomes in the short-term (e.g., improved knowledge, labour market participation, and employment), medium-term (e.g., more inclusive workplaces, higher quality workforce), and benefits in the long-term (e.g., stronger economy and quality of life for all Australians).

Funding / Grants

  • Funding application under review

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

  • Dr Iain Waller (QUT)
  • Ms Asha Worsteling (UQ/QUT)


Working at Australian Department of Social Services company ...

Academic publications

Other outputs

  • Coming soon.