Absa launches its Disability Declaration Awareness Campaign

01 December 2011 Absa

Absa announced that it will launch a nationwide initiative to encourage its staff members to declare their disabilities as the bank marks the end of National Disability Month.

Deputy Minister of the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu, will be among the dignitaries who will attend the launch event at the bank’s head office in Johannesburg.

The initiative forms part of Absa’s celebration of the end of the National Disability Month, which aims to ensure the full and effective participation of people with disabilities across all facets of South African society.

Sifiso Lukhele, Head of Employee Relations at Absa, says that Absa’s campaign – being executed under the slogan “We care, so make us aware”, forms part of the bank’s focus on enhancing the overall workplace experience of all employees.

“Our aim with this initiative is two-fold. It will help us to optimise employee access to the Group Disability Support Fund in 2012. Additionally, the increased awareness of our staff needs will also enable us, as the employer, to make the work environment more accommodating for people with disabilities,” says Lukhele.

“Absa has already made significant strides in catering for the needs of its disabled employees, but is intent on extending its support through the current campaign.”

Lukhele adds that the current drive is consistent with Absa’s aim of establishing a diverse workforce which is fully inclusive of people with disabilities.

“The establishment of such diversity is a core value within the group. However, it also makes good business sense to do so. Organisations which integrate the competencies of people from diverse backgrounds are able to access a wider pool of talent and thereby, build a positive corporate culture,” says Lukhele.

The disability declaration, which is voluntary, is in line with global best practice which encourages honest communication about impairments, disability and possible barriers in the workplace.

“This communication is essential in raising awareness of workplace challenges. It builds confidence among staff members to ask for support and it also encourages mutual respect among employees,” Lukhele emphasises.

“At Absa, we firmly believe that people with disabilities have a vital role to play in the sustainability of our business and we would like to celebrate the contribution of all our staff in making Absa a truly diverse business,” he concludes.

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