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FWA’s Help Meet The Needs of Employees With Disabilities
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FWA’s Help Meet The Needs of Employees With Disabilities

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has published several resources on Workplace Flexibility. The toolkit, available through the United States Department of Labor (DOL) website, features information on the value and need for Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) for those in the disability community. According to statistics, 80 percent of workers would prefer to utilize a flexible work arrangement. It is reported that 32 percent of employers don’t allow their employees the opportunity to change their workplace starting or quitting times. Many employees report that they would utilize an FWA if there were no repercussions.

In recognition of the need to support a more diverse workforce, many businesses have implemented their own policies about Flexible Work Arrangements. For instance, some allow for compressed workweeks, telecommuting, and job-sharing, while other employers work on a case-by-case basis, incorporating broad or specific input from department managers.

The information curated in the handout at Workplace Flexibility 2010, a website dedicated to the creation of national policies that promote workplace flexibility, offers several case studies to support their campaign.

Kraft Foods created a flexible work options program called, “Fast Adapts”, which allows workers the ability to job-share, shift-swap, or use single-day vacations for meetings their personal needs (due to sickness, medical appointments, etc). Texas Instruments touts an “ad-hoc flexibility policy” for their employees, which often allows workers the ability to modify their work schedules to attend doctor’s appointments, or for childcare issues.

At Kodak, full and part-time employees have the option of requesting flexibility by submitting an application to their HR department. Kodak offers compressed work weeks, job-sharing and telecommuting. Employees are made aware of the company FWA during the initial new-hire orientation seminar and all supervisors must complete the necessary training to become educated about such policies within the company.

Most of the companies included in the case studies agreed that utilizing Flexible Work Arrangements helps reduce absenteeism and employee turnover.

Image credit: Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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