Financial incentives to promote employment of people with disabilities: when and how they work best
Reasons for the study
Financial incentives for employers to recruit, retain and promote persons with disabilities take many forms. They are used in Canada and elsewhere as a way to address low rates of employment among people with disabilities.
In Canada, the federal government directly operates programs in this domain and supports other initiatives through transfer payments to the provinces. The funds allocated to employment support activities are substantial. However, little research has been done examining how and when financial incentives work to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
A project funded in 2017 by the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund started to fill this gap. That study conducted a scoping review of the published literature to take stock of existing knowledge and evidence on this topic.
New funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is expanding on the project by mapping the programs across Canada that offer financial incentives, and developing case studies and evidence-informed resources on best practices for the use of financial incentives.
Objectives of the study
- Develop a map of the Canadian financial incentives (FIs) policy arena and the key stakeholders who engage in it, with details of the characteristics of program offerings and funds allocated
- Undertake an international environmental scan of good practices in the use of FIs
- Develop case studies using qualitative and quantitative methods that contextualize how and when FIs work well or do not work well, and why
- Develop contextualized, evidence-informed resources for stakeholders (including government and employer representatives) on best practices in the use of FIs
The findings will profile opportunities, challenges, risks and benefits of financial incentives to encourage hiring and retaining people with disabilities. They will also offer guidance on how financial incentives should or should not be used to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. As such, the findings will be relevant to injured worker and disability communities, employers, policy-makers, disability program administrators and service providers.
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (Maureen Haan)
Employment and Social Development Canada (Abdou Souab)
Jazz Aviation (Michael MacDonald)
Neil Squire Society
Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada