Campaigns and activities
One of the measures supporting employers in Hungary is Government Decree 327/2012 (XI.16.) on Accreditation of Employers employing workers with disabilities, and on the availability of budget supports for the employment of workers with disabilities. In compliance with this regulation an Accredited Employer is granted support from the state budget for the rehabilitation wages and its additional costs of persons with reduced working capacities, including workers with disabilities. The extent of wage costs' support may amount to a maximum of 100% or less, depending on the fact which category the worker in question belongs into: category of “permanent” or “transit” employment.
Persons with severe disabilities, including severe visual impairment are usually entitled for permanent employment by an accredited employer. Employers will apply for state support of the rehabilitation wage costs and other extra expenses. There are also other ad hoc project possibilities, where an employer may submit an application for state support to create rehabilitation jobs. Those projects are usually supported by EU programs and funds. E.g. in 2015 an application possibility was published for non-profit companies recognised as accredited employers in frame of the Economic Development Operational Programme. There are also continuous state support possibilities for social employers to employ persons with disabilities. Employers are also supported so that once an employee with disabilities has got a so-called “Rehabilitation Card”, they do not have to pay social contribution tax after the person in question. The Regulations do not enable a person with severe visual impairment or with other kind of severe disability to get a Rehabilitation Card. Once an employer having not less than 25 employees has got at least one worker with reduced working capacities, the employer in question does not have to pay the so called Rehabilitation Contribution.
A basic principle laid down in the Act XXVI of 1998 on Safeguarding the rights and equality of people with disabilities is the necessity of rehabilitation and increase of the employment of people with disabilities. Hungary was the first country having ratified the UN CRPD in 2007.
Employees with disabilities including visual impairment are indirectly supported by the Government Decree mentioned under Par.1, as well as by the Regulations of Social Employment enabling their employment by an accredited employer. Even rehabilitation cards might mean some kind of help for some persons with disabilities to get a job, however just very few of them can have a Rehabilitation Card as already mentioned under Par. 1. The regulations of rehabilitation contribution are also meant to help the employment of people with disabilities.
The prohibition of discrimination is laid down as a basic principle in the Act XXVI of 1998 on Safeguarding the rights and equal treatment of people with disabilities, as well as by the Fundamental Law of Hungary (25 April 2011. Any cases of Discrimination are dealt by the Equal Treatment Authority.
The employment rate of persons with disabilities including visually impaired people is extremely low on the open labour market in Hungary. It is meant to be increased by granting an exemption from the Rehabilitation Contribution Tax if an employer hires a person with reduced working capacity. Rehabilitation Cards should also help to increase the employment rate of people with reduced working capacity. Once a person having a Rehabilitation Card is employed, the employer has to pay no Social Contribution Tax after the employee in question. Act No. 191 of 2011, on the Employment and care of persons with disabilities, and the aforementioned Government Decree 327/2012 (XI.16.) on Accreditation of Employers employing workers with disabilities and on the availability of budget supports for the employment of workers with disabilities should theoretically facilitate the employment of people with disabilities on the open labour market.
This area is regulated by Government Decree 327/2012 (XI.16.) on Accreditation of Employers employing workers with disabilities, and on the availability of budget supports for the employment of workers with disabilities, according to which any employer the employer wishing to get rehabilitation and additional cost support after an employee with reduced working capacity or/and with a disability, must get an accreditation certificate or be registered as a social employer. An approved employer must apply each year for support by the Ministry Human Capacity, National Office for Rehabilitation and Social Affairs. Once the application has been successful, the support will be regulated by a frame agreement, a grant contract and by the individual support contracts. An accredited employer is entitled for wage subsidies after an employee recognised through a complex examination as a person with reduced working capacity, granted rehabilitation allowance, disability allowance, disability benefit or rehabilitation benefit. In accordance with Act No. 191 of 2011 on the Employment and care of persons with disabilities, anyone having been granted Personal allowance for the Blind is to be considered as a person with reduced working capacity also, however an accredited employer is not entitled for a subsidy after such a person.
The Government Decree in question requires also mandatory employment of a rehabilitation mentor and a rehabilitation counsellor, the need of an employment programme and individual rehabilitation plans, as well as the existence of work-friendly conditions, environment and aid-tools and equipment. It is also possible employ a personal helper.
Unfortunately the employment rate of people with disabilities in the public sector in Hungary is very low. It is not facilitated even by the fact that the public sector in not entitled for a grant after the employment of a person fur to his or her reduced working capacity or disability. It is valid also for the employers in the public sector that they are granted exemption from the Rehabilitation Contribution Tax if they hire a person with reduced working capacity. They take advantage of this tax exemption possibility by employing someone registered as a person with reduced working capacity due to a chronic disease or any other reason. That way an employer has already met the pre-conditions of the tax exemption, and the employment of people with severe disabilities is not treated as an important issue anymore.
In Hungary there are no specific employment rules for blind and partially sighted women, the same regulations apply to them as to any other employees with reduced working capacity and/or disability.
Occasionally there might be special project applications carried out by NGOs aiming to facilitate the employment of women with disabilities including visual impairment.
In Hungary there has been only one particular project to facilitate self-employment for people with reduce working capacity and/or disability.
In Hungary every VI adult is entitled in principle to participate in elementary rehabilitation and habilitation trainings in frame of the services provided by the National Institute of the Blind (VÁI), and by local Rehabilitation Centres.. Such and other kinds of rehabilitation services are provided also by NGOs and other Advocacy and Representation organisations of the Blind. There are also project possibilities in frame of “The Social Renewal Operational Programme (SROP)” /TÁMOP/ to carry out rehabilitation programmes for people with disabilities. While being employed by a Rehabilitation Employer a person with reduced working capability takes part in a rehabilitation process aiming to improve his or her skills and to facilitate him or her getting back to work. In 2013 and 2014 there were trainings held for people employed by sheltered employers. Trainings are carried out in frame of application projects by several NGOs.
See Replies for “Measures to support employers; Measures to support workers with disabilities; Employment in the supported/sheltered sector. Those programmes aiming to sensitize the society, to influence the approach of employers and to strengthen an inclusive attitude are also of great importance.
All employers, both private companies and public offices with a work force of more than 20 workers must hire 5% of people with reduced working capacity (working capacity must be at least 40% lower). If an employer does not meet that obligation a Rehabilitation Contribution must be paid, HUF 964500 (cca. € 3300)/missing person. Thus, e.g. a company with a staff of 41 people must employ at least 2 persons with reduced working capacity.
In Hungary each person having gone through a complex check-out and approval procedure and thus granted rehabilitation certification is obliged to cooperate with a local rehabilitation body or/and Employment Centre in charge. Those Employment centres may provide them also with employment counselling. Employment rehabilitation including also employment counselling has been lately supported by EU funds. Vocational counselling is provided also by accredited employers acting as “Rehabilitation Employers”. Those service providers and special programs offering so-called “Alternative labour market services” are also of great importance in these fields.
General experiences show VI people having chances to be employed in social and IT fields, mainly in the non-profit sector and NGOs. Those VI people having higher level education and qualification have better chances, it is with fortune that we can mention legal fields as a good example for that, many visually impaired lawyers work in their own profession. Lots of VI people used to work as therapeutic masseurs; however it started lately fading into the background. Numerous VI persons work in “sheltered working places” concluding mainly unskilled work. It is typically the non-profit sector, foundations and associations, where a Visually Impaired person can do a job fitting his or her qualification and skills, either in advocacy fields or other services. Nowadays persons with reduced working capability including visually impaired people tend to be offered jobs in call centres.
In principle, it is the Government Agencies' Employment Departments helping people with disabilities to find a job, however in practice it is rather the civil advocacy NGOs, the Rehabilitation Centres and alternative market labour market service providers who actually helps a VI job seeker to find a working possibility. Job seekers with disabilities get information on the legal background, counselling and guidance also from these organisations.
The status of a person with reduced working capability is defined by Act 191 of 2011. There is no specific law on the status of a person with disabilities as an worker/employee. A person with disabilities is classified as a person with changed working capability.
In Hungary, there is no tradition of having a trade union for workers with disabilities or having those workers as members of a trade union.
There has been lately one particular advocacy organisation (Helyiipari és Városgazdálkodási Dolgozók Szakszervezete 2000 = Trade Union of Local Industrial and Municipal Workers 2000) who declared having the interests of employees with reduced working capability represented at trade union's level.