Hiring Individuals with an Anxiety Disorder

Last month we took a look at clients looking for a job when they have an anxiety disorder. This month we wanted to touch base on the employer side of things as it is just as important. You’ll learn the benefits of hiring individuals with an anxiety disorder, how to accommodate them, and we provide some links at the end to assist you with getting more information if needed.

As explained in the previous post, an anxiety disorder is a general term that encompasses five specific anxiety disorders; social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. Individuals with anxiety disorders are able to work as effectively as someone without a visual impairment. Please refer to our last post to learn more about anxiety disorders.

Benefits of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

By focusing on an individual’s ability rather than their disability you will have access to a larger pool of qualified applicants. By promoting a stigma-free workplace for people with anxiety disorders, you will be promoting a more diverse, respectful, and welcoming environment among all employees.

People with disabilities often do their jobs as well or better than other employees doing the same job according to various research studies. Government wage subsidies for hiring people with disabilities may be available. Various studies have found that people with disabilities have a better working attitude when compared to people without disabilities. Various studies have also found that people with disabilities have a better attendance record and lower turnover rates compared to people without disabilities; this reduces costs associated with higher turnover and can increase your bottom line.

Possible Accommodations You May Need to Provide

It can be very easy and cost effective to accommodate for someone with an anxiety disorder:

Few individuals actually require physical accommodation changes, if they do they are usually simple to implement and are also cost effective:

– Flexible scheduling; part-time, flexible hours
– Changes in supervision; modifying instructions and feedback process, weekly meetings. etc
– Modifying job duties
– Using technology
– Modifying work space or changing location; allow better focus and decrease in distractions if needed

The average cost to accommodate for someone with a disability is less than $500 per person. The benefits of accommodating and hiring people with vision impairments or any disability outweigh the costs associated with making accommodations.


– According to the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), you are not able to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual or, in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee on a prohibited ground of discrimination

– Under the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), no one may be discriminated against on the basis of “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”

– According to the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), an employer must accommodate for new or existing employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship

– The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), is comprised of five standards, one being employment. The AODA’s employment standard will soon enact regulations to make finding, hiring, and supporting employees with disabilities regular practice within companies and organizations

Helpful Links

Here is a list of websites you may find informative:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA):


Canadian Human Rights Act (1985):

Targeted government wage subsidies:

Disability Employment Success Stories:

*Disclaimer: Please note that all people experience their disability differently, and this resource will apply to each person based their own personal experience.

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