The European Disability Forum (EDF) has published a Human Rights report “Right to Work”, which has identified a persistent gap in access to quality employment for persons with disabilities. The report shows that only 51.3% of active, working-age persons with disabilities in the EU are in paid employment. Furthermore, women and young people are at a disadvantage: only 49% of women and 47.4% of young people with disabilities are in paid employment. The “disability employment gap” is on average is 24.4 percentage points across the EU, with the report identifying several reasons, including the lack of provision of reasonable accommodation, structural discrimination and bias, and a lack of access to inclusive and quality education.
Regarding reasonable accommodation, common issues include limited funding and support, excessive bureaucracy and limited availability of information regarding state support. Despite the EU employment equality directive having been in place since 2000, reasonable accommodation guidelines do not exist The report also reveals that persons with disabilities still earn less when employed, even though they need more income to face the additional costs of living in a discriminatory and inaccessible society. In fact, persons with disabilities are more likely to face in-work poverty than persons without disabilities.
The report sets up a series of recommendations for public authorities, including the EU and Member States, to:
• Allow persons to retain disability allowances when in gainful employment
• Ban the practice of paying persons with disabilities below minimum wage
• Promote effective practices to access reasonable accommodation and employ persons with disabilities affected by other forms of marginalisation.
Further information on the reforms is available at: https://www.edf-feph.org/majority-of-persons-with-disabilities-locked-out-of-quality-employment/