My work and study

Most people with disabilities don’t require support to work. But even so, only half of all disabled adults are in the labour force. That compares to three-quarters of non-disabled adults.

Increasing the number of disabled people in the workforce is important. Inclusive workplaces utilise the untapped talents of disabled people and better reflect our communities. Most importantly, employment brings better outcomes for people with disabilities through increased incomes and quality of life.

In this section we look at where you can find assistance for work or study if you need it.

Career guidance

If you’re starting out, or looking to change your career, check out Careers New Zealand for information about choosing your career and looking at training options. There are also lots of tips to help with job hunting. 

Looking for job

Some newspapers still print job listings, but the best place to look for work is online. Try searching for jobs at Seek or at Trade Me Jobs.

Work and Income also has a database of job listings. You don’t have to be a Work and Income client, but you will have to register to use the service.

Work and Income provide other types of support to help you find a job and meet the costs of starting work. Read our page about support from Work and Income.

There are a number of organisations around New Zealand that support disabled people to find employment. Read our page about employment organisations that help disabled people find work and provide access to job support funding.

You can also learn about how you can get modifications to your workplace to make it easier for you to do your job.

As an employee, you have rights and responsibilities. You can read more about your rights at work and what to do if you think you’ve been treated unfairly at work.

Learning skills for work

We also have information for anyone who wants to develop skills and gain experience to help find work, and information about where to find support while studying including student loans, allowances and scholarships.

Information for employers

If your employer would like to make their workplace more inclusive, here are a few places they can get advice:

Diversity Works NZ (formerly Equal Employment Opportunities Trust)

Be.Employed is an initiative of Be.Accessible, that helps employers to identify and remove the barriers in their organisation to becoming a fully accessible employer.

The Lead Toolkit from the Ministry of Social Development provides information and resources to help businesses employ disabled people. 

For more advice for employers see Employment New Zealand.