Disability employment at McDonald’s

Christopher Croker, Employee at McDonald’s

Christopher Croker, Employee at McDonald’s

Christopher Croker has been an employee at McDonald’s Wadalba since February 2016. Over the past 3 years, Chris has made himself an invaluable asset to the team, most recently being nominated in the 2019 NSW Business Chamber Business Awards as Outstanding Young Employee of the Year.

He is loved by team members and customers alike, described by all as passionate, energetic and devoted. Chris also lives with a disability, and has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

“I really love interacting with customers and helping them with anything they might need,” says Chris.

“Coming to work everyday with a smile on my face is important to me.”

Chris’s boss Gavin McLeod owns six McDonalds stores with his wife Raylee, and they share a passion for increasing the number of employees with disability across their restaurants. Of their 1000 employees, over 120 live with disability.

“One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the people I work with - forming solid relationships with our employees and watching them thrive is extremely rewarding,” says Gavin.

“Chris in particular is one of the friendliest people you will ever come across. His passion for others, dedication to his job and the community, and infectious energy is never ending, to put it simply Chris makes others feel good.”

There are also a range of benefits for companies that hire people with disability - it’s just a case of knowing where to start. For example, businesses might need to make some physical adjustments. All measures in place to support Chris’s disability are driven by Chris himself, as Raylee and Gavin have created a working environment where employees are comfortable asking for any modifications or adjustments they might need.

According to Gavin and Raylee, support for employers who want to hire people with disability is crucial. The pair have been working with JobAccess, the Australian Government’s national hub for disability employment information and advice, since they first employed a person with disability eight years ago.

“Having Chris as part of our team also means that our other employees gain perspective on the everyday experience of individuals living with disability. They are more understanding, and team morale is so much higher,” explains Gavin.

Chris can often be found welcoming recently hired employees, offering assistance where he can and tips on how to complete tasks.

“Both Raylee and myself hope that our approach to disability employment will encourage others to do the same, and understand the benefits it has for everyone involved. On a personal level I have learnt the importance of patience, and of creating an environment in which all of my employees feel comfortable to perform,” finishes Gavin.

For further insight on the benefits of employing people with disability, head to JobAccess, where you can also learn more about how the Employment Assistance Fund can be used for workplace adjustments and equipment.

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