Persons with Disabilities Week: severely disabled people deserve equal opportunities

Unemployed people with severe disabilities are not benefiting as much as other unemployed people from the fact that the labour market is recovering from effects caused by the pandemic. The Federal Employment Agency is calling for more focus on these people’s strengths with the upcoming Persons with Disabilities Week.

23 Nov 2022 | Press release no.50

The number of unemployed people overall last decreased by more than 10 percent from October 2021 to October 2022. It fell from 2.67 million to 2.39 million. The number of unemployed people with severe disabilities, on the other hand, fell by only about 5 percent, from about 174 thousand to 164 thousand. This shows that people with severe disabilities do not benefit from good labour market developments to the same extent as all other unemployed people. This finding is also confirmed by the average length of unemployment. For all unemployed, it was 155 days in October, for those with severe disabilities it was 195 days. The chance of them getting out of long-term unemployment is also worse than that of all unemployed people. It was 3.1 but 6.3 for all other unemployed.

Incidentally, the local employment agencies can support companies if they want to hire or train an employee with a severe disability, for example by providing an integration grant, by assuming the costs during a trial employment period or by providing a grant for training and further education. The local employment agencies can also provide support in equipping workplaces for people with disabilities.

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) itself aims to be a pioneer in terms of inclusion. It far exceeds the legally required quota of 5 percent severely disabled employees. So far this year, 11.3 percent of its employees are people with severe disabilities. Chief Human Resources Officer Katrin Krömer emphasises: “The BA is an organisation that practices inclusion. One in ten of our employees has a severe disability. I promote giving people with disabilities a chance. It is not their disability that is the hindrance, but the lack of workplace equipment; this is where the BA can support companies. Differences also help us to grow. A high level of motivation, reliability and identification with the employer are what distinguish people with disabilities.”
The BA’s good occupation rate confirms this.

The BA organises the Persons with Disabilities Week every year around the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the third of December. Together with its regional offices and employment agencies, it wants to promote giving people with disabilities the same opportunities as everyone else.