August 12, 2020

Too many pieces to fit into the labor integration of people with disabilities




Autonomy, economic independence and personal fulfillment are some of the benefits that work provides and of which 26.2% of people with disabilities who reside in Spain and are unemployed are deprived. If it is already difficult to get a contract in a country with more than three million unemployed, the difficulty is multiplied for the 1,860,6000 citizens who have a disability. Forced to break down the barrier of prejudices, their insertion into work environments is still far from optimal.

Examples of good work are not lacking. Public figures such as actor Jesús Vidal, Pablo Pineda, the first European with Down syndrome to have a university degree, or Paralympic medalist Teresa Perales have shown that, with effort and preparation, people with disabilities can meet their goals just like any other other.

An idea that has penetrated the most important corporations in our country. The VI SERES-Deloitte Report, which analyzes 76 large companies, reveals that the volume of investment in social responsibility projects grows again in Spanish companies, from 846 million in 2017 to 1,246 in 2018, that is, 47 % plus.

The document also reflects that 86% of the companies studied integrate people with disabilities into their workforce. But something still fails when The employment rate of people with disabilities is 25.9% compared to 64.4% of the general population. A pattern that is repeated with the activity rate, 42 points lower than that of the non-disabled, according to the report The employment of people with disabilities, prepared by the National Statistics Institute with data from 2017.

Greater involvement

If the big companies have taken a step forward, now it's up to the rest to take the witness. Get rid of preconceived ideas and considering only the suitability of the candidate for the required position is essential to move towards full inclusion. Our country is on the right track, although the final leap is missing.

«Social and managerial awareness is growing, but much remains to be done. Some groups, such as people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems in principle, may have more difficulties and need more support to join companies, ”he says. Pablo Rodriguez, co-director of the research group «Social and labor inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities» of the Autonomous University of Madrid, who believes that the ignorance is a brake on its employability: «Still in some sectors we find ourselves not only with rejection, which sometimes also occurs, but with fear of facing the issue. The administration and support entities for people with disabilities have the responsibility of supporting companies to make them understand that this fear is the result of ignorance and that with an accompaniment labor inclusion has been shown to be successful ».

Moreover, in certain areas of activity they can give higher yields than a worker without disabilities. “An example would be people with deafness who work in spaces with a lot of noise where a worker with full hearing does not endure much time because of the stress it generates. Something similar happens with people with Asperger's Syndrome in the field of software analysis of programming errors, who have to look for mother codes. For many people it is very boring and for them it often becomes a challenge, ”he explains. Jordi Planella, Professor in Social Pedagogy and academic director of the Department of Disability, Employment and Social Innovation of the UOC and the Randstad Foundation.

«Still in some sectors we find ourselves not only with rejection, which sometimes also occurs, but with fear for facing the issue»

The key is to have an open mind and understand that hiring people with disabilities is not a matter of solidarity, but that it helps adequate progress of the organization. «There are prejudices regarding the productive contribution they can make. Apart from giving a social value to the company, they contribute to its daily functioning, ”says Rodríguez, who insists on considering all the variables:“ Capacities must be valued, which the person can contribute to productivity, although companies must also take into account the improvement of the work environment. Seeing that the company has a social conscience, the worker feels more involved ».

If the benefits are multiple – diversity in the workforce, tax bonuses for hiring … – and the inconvenience, once the first phase of adaptation of any new incorporation is overcome, they are minimal, why not just take off their inclusion in the world of business? Beyond the reluctance that there may be in some organizations, There is a factor that undermines your hiring: training. And, according to the data handled by the Observatory on Disability and Labor Market in Spain (Odismet), 37.8% of young people with disabilities do not pass primary education and only 3% of them access higher education.

Lacks in training make these people are led to lower skilled jobs and lower pay. In fact, the annual gross salary of employees with disabilities was 19,726 euros per worker, 17% lower than the 23,764 euros paid by people without disabilities, according to the 2017 Salary of Persons with Disabilities (SPD) survey of 2017, elaborated with data of people who have 33% or more of disability.

37.8% of young people with disabilities do not pass primary education and only 3% of them access higher education

"Many times they cannot apply for certain positions, not because they don't have the capacity but because they don't have the right training," he says. Michelangelo San Juan, spokesperson for the JuanXXIII Roncalli Foundation, which a decade ago launched a Training Center for Employment in which almost 700 students have already graduated. They give certified training to access more qualified positions thanks to the collaboration of companies, both private and public, that finance it and even have agreements with two universities. The entity also gives workshops to companies and colleagues who will work with people with disabilities. "Sometimes they are treated as if they were children or overprotected and that has to be avoided," they say.

In legislative matters, entities such as the Spanish Confederation of People with Physical and Organic Disabilities (Cocemfe) argue that the General Disability Law, which obliges companies with a workforce equal to or greater than 50 workers to incorporate a percentage of professionals with disabilities not less than 2%, has given great results, but "is already finished", so they ask for a new rule that contemplates , among other points, an increase of that 2% proportional to the size of the company or a firm commitment to incentivize and create resources in rural areas. "For people with disabilities, it implies double discrimination because of the difficulties it generates in access to inclusive education and employment," he says. Daniel-Aníbal García Diego, secretary of Organization of COCEMFE.

. (tagsToTranslate) integration (t) labor (t) disability

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