Paving the way to the mainstream labour market with inclusive companies

People with disabilities still face more obstacles in the labour market than those without. The severely disabled unemployed, for example, are less likely to find a job on the mainstream labour market than people who are not severely handicapped.

25 Nov 2021 | Press Release No. 40

On the occasion of the International Day of People with Disabilities on the 3rd of December, the BA (Federal Employment Agency) is calling on everyone to actively stand up for inclusion, for example by supporting inclusive companies.

Inclusive companies fulfil a highly important social function, and have a special sense of social responsibility: they promise to give between 30 and 50 percent of their jobs to severely disabled people, a group particularly strongly affected by lack of jobs.

Eva Strobel, the BA's inclusion representative, has drawn attention to a novelty in procurement law: "This year, the scope of federal authorities was widened to allow the priority of orders to be given not only to workshops for people with disabilities, but also to inclusive companies. German Federal state regulations also have various provisions for prioritisation of orders to socially aware firms. In that way, inclusive companies are assisted in breaking down labour market barriers so that people with disabilities can enter the mainstream job market."

Inclusive companies offer jobs to people with disabilities according to collective agreements or at standard local rates. At REHADAT, 93 inclusive companies are currently listed in Bavaria, whereas nationally there are 1007 of these along with related associations. They exist in many branches, and provide a wide range of products and services, including ones for citizens. Whoever wishes to actively contribute to successful inclusion is welcome to consciously search for inclusive companies in his or her region and make use of their products or services.

An example of an inclusive company is AfB gGmbH. By refurbishing and selling used IT and mobile devices, it has created jobs for disabled people, for example at its Nuremberg branch.

Rainer Hufer, branch manager at AfB Nuremberg: "I consider it important to involve all employees in such a way that they can develop. Our company philosophy at AfB includes looking at strengths rather than weaknesses. It merely entails a small change of perception: we shouldn’t ask ourselves what people can't do, but instead: what are their capabilities? What are their intentions? What are they interested in? When our employees are happy and are not impaired, they can perform well. That goes for everyone, disabled or not."

In the week of the International Day of People with Disabilities, job centres and regional directorates will be organising multiple events at which they will be drawing attention to the labour market situation of people with disabilities and raising awareness. Depending on the regional pandemic situation, these can also take place virtually.

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