The European Council
held a policy debate on the employment of persons with disabilities at its
meeting on 16 June. One of the topics discussed was how to increase the
employment rate of people with disabilities. The debate has focused on two
points, in particular. Ministers discussed how to remove barriers to the
employment of people with disabilities and how to take effective measures to
promote their professional integration.
The Background Paper on which the debate is based refers to the
incentives created by various Member States to promote the employment of people
with disabilities. These include, for example, mandatory minimum quotas for
employers in hiring people with disabilities, annual diversity plans with
measurable targets and regular assessments, financial support for reasonable
accommodation in the workplace, tax relief and financial incentives, especially
for small and medium-sized enterprises, and consideration in public tenders.
labour markets and increasing the labour force participation of
under-represented groups, such as people with disabilities, should contribute
to achieving the European employment targets for 2030. The Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights
envisages an employment rate of 78 per cent of the population aged between 20
and 64 by 2030.
following factors are cited as causes for the still low employment rate of
persons with disabilities:
in access to education and training, lower levels of education compared to the
preconceptions about productivity,
- real or
perceived costs and information deficits regarding adequate precautions,
in human resources management.
the employment rate requires action at different levels, in particular
promoting accessibility, adequate provision for individual needs, the
acquisition of marketable skills, as well as investment in emergency services,
inclusive and accessible learning frameworks, lifelong learning and linking the
school cycle and labour market inclusion.
Background and next steps
one fifth of the EU population (currently around 87 million people) is
estimated to have some form of disability. People with disabilities, like
everyone else, have the right to full participation in all areas of life.
However, they still face many obstacles despite progress in some areas.
example, only about half of people with disabilities (50.8 per cent) in the EU
were in employment in 2021, compared to 75 per cent of people without
disabilities. People with disabilities are more often at risk of poverty or
social exclusion than people without disabilities (28.4 per cent compared to
18.4 per cent).
integration of people with disabilities in the labour market is a core topic of
the EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2021-2030. One of the flagship initiatives of the strategy is the so-called
"Employment Package" which the European Commission will present later
this year. In cooperation with the European Network of Public Employment
Services, the social partners and organisations representing people with
disabilities, it aims to improve their chances in the labour market.