According to a new study, people with disabilities continue to be structurally disadvantaged in the labor market. Above all, the insufficient willingness of companies to hire people stands in the way of improvement, reported Aktion Mensch in Bonn in its latest inclusion barometer.
“More than a quarter of the companies in Germany that are obliged to do so still do not employ people with disabilities,” it said.
If there are 20 or more employees, employers are obliged to employ severely disabled people. If an employer does not meet the mandatory quota of five percent, he must pay a monthly compensation levy for each unfilled compulsory job.
According to the study by the Handelsblatt Research Institute, the number of unemployed people with disabilities fell by around five percent on average in 2022 compared to the previous year - to 163,500. Since April 2023, however, the value has been higher again than in 2022, most recently in October at 165,700. “The economic downturn has now also reached the labor market,” explained Institute President Bert Rürup. The shrinking overall economic output expected for 2023 will once again cloud the labor market opportunities of people with disabilities.
Better prospects for the severely disabled are required
Ahead of the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3rd, IG Metall called for better prospects for severely disabled people. The union criticized the low status of these employees among companies and legislators. The country cannot afford to take a neglectful view of people with disabilities, said IG Metall board member Hans-Jürgen Urban, according to the statement. "The labor market urgently needs employees. And disabled employees need real opportunities for participation instead of pity."
The union demanded that every company must be barrier-free and therefore accepting of people with disabilities. To date, companies have only been obliged to carry out barrier-free conversions if they employ severely disabled people. “This becomes an enormous obstacle, not least when it comes to hiring,” it said.
Aktion Mensch: No equality
According to the integration report, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in 2022 was almost eleven percent, still more than twice as high as the general rate. People without disabilities also have more than twice the chance of finding a new job than people with disabilities. “Germany is still miles away from equal rights - almost 15 years after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force, which describes the right to participate in the labor market,” said Aktion-Mensch spokeswoman Christina Marx, commenting on the situation.
The organization pointed out that almost 175,000 companies in Germany are required by law to give at least five percent of their jobs to people with disabilities. However, the proportion of employers who filled all compulsory jobs fell to 39 percent in 2022. This is the lowest value since the first inclusion barometer was published in 2013. In contrast, more than one in four companies still do not employ any people with disabilities. Despite the shortage of skilled workers, these companies would carelessly forego the potential of inclusion, says Marx. In comparison, there are more well-qualified skilled workers among people with disabilities, she emphasized.