Integration of disabled people into the competitive labour market

Year of Publication: 

This paper explores 25 literature reviews and experimental studies on interventions that (could) successfully lead to the integration of disabled persons into the competitive labour market. In spite of the wide scope of health conditions and background characteristics of disabled persons, it is able to identify several ‘incentive boosters’:

(1) work modifications and employer support;

(2) empowerment of, and interaction between the disabled person, the family (in case of severe disabilities), the employer, and other stakeholders;

(3) communication, information and the role of counsellors or intermediaries; and

(4) engagement, facilitated by previous positive experiences and stories. Employers, when engaged, depend on case managers, intermediaries, networks and employer representatives, for trusted (informal) sources of information to facilitate disability employment.

The report concludes with recommendations for case managers, intermediaries and advocacy groups to encourage the take-up of interventions among employers that integrate disabled persons in the competitive labour market.

The second paper reviews the legislative framework on integration of disabled persons in the competitive labour market in four countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland and Sweden. Doing so, it applies a human rights framework in reviewing the way countries define disability; which benefit schemes are in place; how equal opportunities in the workplace are advanced; and which active labour market policies support disabled persons in finding and retaining employment. The report finds that countries define disability in many different ways, and often not in line with the human rights approach to disability. Other policy areas have small differences between countries, with some impact from European regulation unifying anti-discrimination law.