People with disabilities face many problems due to their physical or mental limitations every day. Their life is particularly difficult in the work environment. They do not have the same opportunities in employment as people without disabilities. This is determined by their lower productivity, as well as their inability to perform all jobs. That is why it is so important to promote the employment of disabled people in the open labor market, through policies of normalization, social inclusion and integration, as well as equal treatment. Implementing a strategy of equality and diversity dedicated to people with disabilities in organizations is a complex and difficult process. Regulations and employer involvement play a key role in the success of these efforts. Read on.
Hiring people with disabilities – table of contents:
- Basics of employment policy for people with disabilities
- Challenges and concerns in hiring people with disabilities
- Benefits of employing people with disabilities
Basics of employment policy for people with disabilities
States are responsible for creating and adhering to policies for people with disabilities, and their direction is appropriate to the current social situation. It is possible to distinguish three general ways in which states intervene to support the employment of disabled people. The first are regulations, which operate on the basis of orders, prohibitions and protective measures. Among the regulations, we distinguish:
- a quota system involving the mandatory employment of a certain number (usually expressed as a percentage) of disabled people
- taxation of employers, as a penalty for failure to comply with the above recommendation
- protection against dismissal
- anti-discrimination programs
- establishment of an ombudsman’s office for people with disabilities
Another way to support the employment of disabled people is through compensation, which takes the form of financial, material or direct support. To this form of assistance we can include vocational and social rehabilitation, subsidized and supported employment, and workplace adaptation. The last way is substitution, which is the creation of jobs for people with disabilities in specially adapted public institutions and sheltered employment centers.
Challenges and concerns in hiring people with disabilities
Countries’ policies related to the employment of disabled people are aimed at tackling such challenges as increasing the employment of such people, fighting poverty and social exclusion, promoting science and higher education and, most importantly, combating discrimination. To meet such challenges, it is necessary to develop the right attitudes in employers so that they are more willing to hire people with disabilities. This is difficult because the fear of hiring such people stems from the stereotypical treatment of all disabilities and otherness.
Lack of knowledge about the specifics of individual medical conditions causes people with disabilities to be treated, as one collective category. As a result, such employees are perceived as inferior, inconvenient, problematic, less productive, whose employment requires high financial expenditures and does not bring tangible benefits. When evaluating opportunities and barriers to employing people with disabilities, employers tend to focus on the barriers, downplaying the potential benefits.
These barriers have both objective and subjective aspects. The subjective ones usually concern the reluctance of a disabled person to take a job, the negative attitude of employers and ineffective job activation measures. Objective factors, on the other hand, mainly include insufficient promotion of employment of people with disabilities, inadequate adaptation of employment conditions to their needs, and labor market preferences for hiring healthy employees.
Benefits of employing people with disabilities
Speaking of the economic benefits of employing disabled people, we should first point out the subsidies, concessions and penalties that workplaces must pay for not employing the required number of people with disabilities. However, we should not forget the social aspect, which is often more important than the material benefits. For people with disabilities, professional work is very important, and is often the primary goal and meaning of their existence.
Work is their main activity. It is not only a source of income, but it is also an important element that raises their self-esteem. It enables them to coexist in a group, interact interpersonally and integrate with other workers. People with disabilities who are aware of their limitations are more likely to appreciate employment opportunities than people without disabilities. Their advantage is that they genuinely enjoy their work and try to be effective as much as possible.Summary
The changes that have taken place in recent years in the legal regulations concerning the employment of people with disabilities have slightly improved their situation in the labor market. However, these changes are insufficient, so disabled people still occupy the low position in the ranking of employees.
This is reflected in the low employment rates in this group of people. This is reflected in the low employment rates of this group of people. The reasons for this are the negative opinions about disabled people and the concerns of employers due to architectural barriers and the need to adapt the workplace. However, it should be remembered that the employment of a disabled person is an opportunity for them to return to social life, and for the employer, to gain a valuable employee.
Read also: Diversity management.