A study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), shows that most workplace accommodations not only are low cost but also positively impact the workplace in many ways.
The study results consistently showed that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low cost. Employers reported that providing accommodations resulted in such benefits as retaining valuable employees, improving productivity and morale, reducing workers’ compensation and training costs, and improving company diversity. These benefits were obtained with little investment. The employers in the study reported that 59 percent of accommodation costs absolutely nothing, while the rest typically cost only $500.
Employers want to provide accommodations so they can retain valued and qualified employees. Of the employers who participated in the study, 83% were doing so to retain or promote a current employee.
Most employers report no cost or a low cost for accommodating employees with disabilities. 59% of employers from the study said the accommodations needed by employees cost absolutely nothing. Another 36% experienced a one-time cost.
Employers report accommodations are effective. Employers who had implemented accommodations by the time they were interviewed were asked to rank the effectiveness of the accommodations on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being extremely effective. Of those responding, 75% reported the accommodations were either very effective or extremely effective.
Employers experience multiple direct and indirect benefits after making accommodations.
Employers who made accommodations for employees with disabilities reported multiple benefits as a result. The most frequently mentioned benefits were:
- the accommodation allowed the company to retain a valued employee
- the accommodation increased the employee’s productivity
- the accommodation eliminated the costs of training a new employee
- the accommodation ultimately improved interactions with co-workers
- the accommodation increased overall company morale
- the accommodation increased overall company productivity
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