Dutch government to support companies hiring people with disabilities
Secretary Jetta Klijnsma of Social Affairs and Employment has announced that there will be more support available to companies that hire people with a physical or psychological disability.
Withdrawing the threat of a quota
According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), a disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired compared to the usual standard of an individual or group.
A disability may therefore include physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
Following research conducted by Meldjezorg.nl, which showed that a considerable amount of the workforce had a disability, the Dutch government has been making gradual steps to help integrate those with a disability back into the work force.
Whilst they have taken away the threat of a quota that reprimanded companies for not hiring people with disabilities, the government has now decided to take a different approach.
People with disabilities want to work
According to Klijnsma, employers would be more willing to hire people with occupational disabilities if there were less risks attached. She argues that "…people with occupational disabilities do not want pity, they want to participate."
The Dutch government’s no-risk policy
In light of this, the government has announced that it is dedicated to creating 25.000 jobs for people with disabilities, on top of the 100.000 jobs employers promised a few years ago.
Furthermore, employers who now hire someone with an occupational disability, no longer run the risk of having to pay out huge costs if the employee takes sick leave.
This no-risk policy, according to Klijnsma, is vital in giving employers an incentive for hiring more people with disabilities on permanent contracts.
Disability-friendly workstations by 2017
In addition to this, the government has announced that it aims to have more customised workstations for employees with physical, mental or psychological disabilities by 2017.
From next year, the government proposes to distribute a total of 100 million euros across all municipalities in the Netherlands to achieve this goal.
Whilst the policy is stated in the Ministry of Social Affair’s budget, it is currently awaiting approval from the Senate (Eerste Kamer) and the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).