The following are examples of employers who embody leading practice on disability:
- IBM Australia and New Zealand
- Disability Works Australia
- Novartis Brazil
ANZ has just embarked on its third and most comprehensive Disability Action Plan (DAP). The bank celebrated this at a special launch event in Melbourne in May 2010.
Susie Babani, ANZ’s Group Managing Director Human Resources, said the plan is not only about ‘doing the right thing’, it also makes good business sense: “Our commitment is to provide equal access to financial services and employment opportunities. Through ANZ’s last DAP we introduced a reasonable accommodation policy and a technology accessibility hotline to ensure we provide a truly accessible workplace. This year we’re introducing greater support for line managers recruiting staff with a disability. Their manager is usually the first port of call for our people, so we need to ensure managers are equipped to support staff with a disability as they enter the ANZ workplace and establish their careers. I am pleased that we have also included in our plan a target of recruiting another 35 people with a disability over the year to September 2010. We had the same target last year – happily we were able to exceed it and hope to do the same again. We are also very excited to be employing an athlete through the Paralympic Workplace Diversity Program.”
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, then Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities & Children's Services, who spoke at the launch, endorsed ANZ’s new plan: “People with a disability have been treated as second class citizens in Australia. ANZ’s DAP is in harmony with the government’s work to change the situation for people with a disability.”
Hamish McKenzie, ANZ’s Global Accessibility Manager and a member of the DAP Steering Committee, said applying for a job should be seamless: “Whether or not you have a disability shouldn’t impact on whether you get the job – it needs to be irrelevant. People with a disability are part of the community and the workforce should be like that too. ANZ’s target to employ 35 people with a disability each year might not seem like a lot, but you have to start somewhere. It is a learning curve.
“I love coming to work, where I can make sure things are as easy as possible for people with a disability. Initially, making change was an uphill battle, but once we had some successes, momentum spread. Having the plan and CEO support really helps to get things done. This is our third DAP and I think we have got it right,” said Hamish.
John Harries, ANZ’s General Manager Operations Australia and head of the DAP, is proud of what ANZ has achieved so far, but acknowledges there is more to do: “It’s important that we lead by example. Targets need to be real and achievable and we need to be open to being critiqued, as it’s a learning process. We need to think about inclusion of people with disabilities in everything we do.”
Business driver for the DAP
At ANZ, building long-term employment opportunities for people with disabilities goes hand-in-hand with boosting productivity and strengthening the capacity for human innovation within both the Australian and global contexts.
ANZ’s DAP has been formulated in response to the Federal Government’s new National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy. Through the DAP, ANZ has committed to employing people with disabilities and promoting social inclusion through specific and measurable steps.
Actions developed to address disability
ANZ’s DAP has been developed through an internal and external consultation and review process, including feedback from employee focus groups, employee surveys and disability and diversity representative groups (such as DCA) before lodgement with the Australian Human Rights Commission. The 2010-2012 DAP commits to:
- Ensuring that ANZ’s branches and workplaces are accessible and support employees and customers with disabilities;
- Ensuring that ANZ’s products and services take into account the needs of people with disabilities;
- Continuing to actively employ people with disabilities, and create an inclusive and supportive culture that enables development and progression;
- Continuing to champion and promote the contributions, both internally and externally, of people with disabilities; and
- Ensuring that its DAP commitments are regularly monitored and updated to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness.
The DAP is overseen by the DAP Steering Committee. The Committee comprises a group of senior leaders (including, importantly, people with disability), who have responsibility and accountability for the implementation of the DAP, and is chaired by the General Manager Operations, Australia.
The plan is supported by an ANZ staff ‘Abilities Network’, which includes staff members at all levels and from all over Australia who want to find ways to better support staff and customers who experience disability. It aims to foster inclusiveness and diversity, raise awareness of disability and accessibility, and represent ANZ staff in issues relating to disability.
2010-2012 DAP commitments and actions
Premises and facilities: ANZ will ensure that its branches and workplaces are accessible for its employees and customers with disabilities.
- Ensure that all new and refurbished branches and buildings are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements, Building Code of Australia (BCA) standards and Australian Banker’s Association (ABA) accessibility standards.
- Ensure that workplace technologies support staff with a disability where possible.
- Review and enhance ANZ’s reasonable accommodation process to provide a more flexible and individualised approach to workplace modifications.
Products and services: ANZ will ensure that its products and services take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
- Update new product design and approval processes to include accessibility criteria for customers with a disability.
- Continue to improve existing ANZ products to ensure broadened accessibility and exploration of new product opportunities which meet the needs of customers with a disability.
- Improve customer accessibility to electronic banking services and online systems, including anz.com, ATMs, internet banking and EFTPOS, and ensure compliance with appropriate accessibility standards.
- Continue to provide access to financial literacy and inclusion programs to people delivering disability services and people with disabilities.
- Continued provision of information to keep customers informed of accessible ANZ branches, products and services.
- Review ANZ’s procurement criteria to include provision/consideration to purchasing from Australian Disability Enterprises or suppliers that support disability and equal opportunity.
Employment and support: ANZ will continue employing people with disabilities, and create an inclusive and supportive culture that enables development and progression.
- Review ANZ’s flexibility policies and practices to ensure they reflect the needs of employees with disabilities and employees who are carers.
- Ongoing improvement and availability of mental health and wellbeing information, services and education.
- Review and enhance ANZ’s employment processes and practices to successfully recruit, onboard, promote and support people with a disability and their line managers.
- Ensure ANZ communication tools, templates and presentations meet accessibility requirements.
- Improve internal technology systems and platforms to ensure they are accessible to employees.
- Partner with an external body to provide mentoring opportunities for university students with a disability.
Leadership and awareness: ANZ will continue to champion and promote the contributions, both internally and externally, of people with disabilities.
- Increase awareness among ANZ staff of the DAP and its benefits to ANZ.
- Increase employee awareness of disability related issues, information, resources and toolkits via a ‘one stop’ online information portal.
- Greater profile and support for ANZ’s Abilities Network to increase disability awareness and ensure strategic contribution.
- Support external national disability agenda and awareness campaigns and share ANZ’s experience with other employers to encourage more private sector jobs for people with a disability.
Results achieved including measurable impact
ANZ’s second DAP for the 2007-2009 period achieved a lot and provided a great platform for taking the latest plan to the next level.
Key achievements of the 2007-2009 DAP include:
- In partnership with McDonald’s and the Australian Employers Network on Disability, ANZ developed and distributed to all customer-facing staff across Australia an information booklet: ‘Welcoming Customers with a Disability’.
- ANZ has in excess of 2,000 audio-enabled ATMs and has installed audio enabling branch ticketing machines.
- Nine of our most commonly used product documents are now available to our customers in Braille, large prints and audio CD format.
- Best practice Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) accessibility standards and guidelines have been incorporated into the development of anz.com, internet banking and all new ANZ services.
- ANZ’s Property team has been trained in the Disability Discrimination Act requirements, Building Council Australia standards, and ABA accessibility standards. A Disability Discrimination Act audit of all ANZ’s facilities was completed in October 2009.
- ANZ has introduced a Reasonable Accommodation policy to ensure all staff with disabilities have the equipment and resources they require to successfully perform their role.
- An Accessibility Hotline dedicated to employee technology accessibility concerns has been established.
- ANZ achieved its disability employment target of 35 people per year via an abilities recruitment initiative.
- All new online training modules are now tested to ensure they meet accessibility requirements. Additionally, an accessibility training course has been developed to provide training developers with an introduction to accessibility requirements.
- In partnership with Vision Australia, ANZ’s online MoneyMinded financial literary course has been adapted and is now accessible to people with a vision impairment.
- ANZ contributed to the development of the Federal Government’s National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy discussion paper.
Plans for ongoing review/further development
ANZ aims to ensure that its DAP commitments are regularly monitored and updated to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness. This includes:
- Reviewing centralised processes for capturing, escalating and monitoring all employee and customer issues and complaints relating to disability access;
- Reporting DAP progress regularly to ANZ’s Diversity Council (chaired by its CEO Mike Smith), to ANZ’s Corporate Responsibility team and to all staff;
- Engaging a DDA consultant to review DAP progress to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness for the organisation;
- DAP Steering Committee to regularly monitor and track progress on commitments and add new commitments as required; and
- Monitoring previously implemented DAP activities classified as ‘business as usual’ to ensure continued effectiveness.
Source: DCA’s Diversity Matters June 2010