PhD Research Explores Inequalities Faced by Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace
EThekwini Municipality’s Senior Legal Advisor for Employment Law, Dr Lindani Nxumalo hopes to use his newly acquired knowledge to address inequalities faced by persons with disabilities in the workplace.
The PhD graduate who is also a part-time Industrial Relations lecturer at UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance said that doing his Masters in labour studies particularly Employment Discrimination Law module motivated him to further investigate this area.
‘My studies exposed me to injustices suffered by persons with disabilities in the world of work and I developed an interest in disability law,’ he said.
‘I further discovered that disability was under researched. That motivated me to conduct a study at PhD level to investigate the rationale behind non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace despite the existence of disability provisions.’
Supervised by Dr Emmanuel Mutambara and Ms Willene Holness, the study was titled: Transformational Leadership as a Tool to Effectively Implement the Legislation Governing Disability in the Workplace: The case of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. It recommends a leadership approach towards inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace.
‘Persons with disabilities have suffered and continue to suffer inequalities in the workplace. They are stigmatised and not reasonably accommodated as required by law. Consequently, their human rights, particularly the right to human dignity and equality, are compromised. The study’s findings identify transformational leadership as a relevant leadership approach to disability inclusion and provide practical solutions towards their inclusion and advancement in the workplace,’ said Nxumalo.
He added that the PhD has enhanced his academic career and personal development.
‘I have published numerous articles and have been invited to present in conferences. It has further enhanced my research capability, which contributed to my personal development. Furthermore, the research experience has enhanced my teaching capabilities.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo