EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Local employers Melinda Thomas and Mal Barrett.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Local employers Melinda Thomas and Mal Barrett.

Irrefutable proof those with disability boost work culture

FOR local employers Mal Barrett and Melinda Thomas, the three disability workers on their books are some of the most motivated and hardworking employees they've come across.

Almost half of the employees at the Ballina-based energy saving company Greenup have disabilities.

"What we find is people who come to us with these disabilities have typically been out of work for some time, are finding it hard to get employment, and very grateful for the opportunity," managing director Mal Barrett said.

Greenup finance manager and owner Melinda Thomas said they were initially hesitant about taking on someone with a disability, but the outcomes had been astounding.

"We were hesitant but once the employment agencies made us understand that someone with a disability could be simply someone who has depression or a mild physical disability that's not always visible we were much more open to the idea," she said.

Ms Thomas said the first disability employee they hired suffered from severe back pain but excelled in his role as operations assistant and was promoted to operations manager.

"He now manages all of our contractors, all of our trade staff, he manages deliveries that come in and our schedule," she said.

"He pretty much runs the show when we're not there. He's an excellent find."

Mr Barrett said he would encourage other employers to be open minded to the opportunities that disability brings.

"It's enriched our workplace and our work culture."


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