Netherlands - Article 27

Article 27

Measures to support employers
Measures to support workers with disabilities
Discrimination
Employment on the open labour market
Employment in the supported / sheltered sector
Employment in the public sector
Employment of blind and partially sighted women
Self-employment
Vocational rehabilitation and training
Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities
Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities
Vocational counselling
Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment
Looking for a job
Legal recognition of disabled worker status
Trade unions and workers with disabilities
 

Measures to support employers

Employers are supported when directly hiring disabled people. A bonus of 7500 Euros during the first three years of employment is granted to employers who directly hire a disabled person. Up to 90% of the measures taken to hire a disabled worker, including equipment and coaching on the job, can be compensated through public funding.

This is also true in the case of measures taken for an employee who has become disabled on later age.

The measures as described above will be probably changed on several points in the coming year, due to budget cuts.

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Measures to support workers with disabilities

Workers with disabilities can have adjustments and arrangements in their working hours and shifts if the employer agrees. There is no law that obliges employers at this point

Workers are entitled to coaching in their job by a job coach.

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Discrimination

The “Law Jobs appointment and disability quota” (February 2015) makes it even harder to find a job for a large group of people with a visual impairment than it already is. This law requires of employers that 5% of the workforce must consist of people with occupational disabilities. If the employer does not meet the quota, he must pay a fine of 5,000 euros per unfilled job.

But the quota only covers people with disabilities who can't earn more than the minimum wage or had a disability status at a very young age and have never worked at all. People who can earn more than the minimum wage if they had a job or people who became disabled later in life

are excluded from the quota. So by hiring this group of people the employer cannot avoid paying the fine and now we see that employees are less willing to hire people who are not covered by the quota. Approximately 60% of the visually impaired are not covered by the quota. The law discriminates against this group and compels employers to do the same

.

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Employment on the open labour market

39% of blind and visually impaired people have a regular job. In other groups of physical disabled people, this percentage is higher.

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Employment in the supported / sheltered sector

12% of visually impaired people have a job in the sheltered sector.

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Employment in the public sector

26% of visually impaired people have a job in the public sector.

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Employment of blind and partially sighted women.

There are no exact figures on employment of visually impaired women. There are indications that fewer than half of the working visually impaired are women. 

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Self Employment

There are no exact figures on the number of visually impaired entrepreneurs. The Oogverenging in the Netherlands will try to find exact figures in the coming years. Current legislation “Law Jobs appointment and disability quota” that provides less help with rehabilitation, makes it necessary in the coming years to examine whether starting a business is a good alternative to seeking work in employment

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Vocational rehabilitation and training

A small group of visually impaired people (11.4%) has experience with reintegration assistance. There is especially a need for a rehabilitation counselor who provides help to find work. Many visually impaired people feel like there is too little knowledge about visual impairment in benefits (payment) agencies and reintegration agencies which, according to them, hinders reintegration.
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Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities.

The incentives for people with disabilities to find work are:

  1. Mobility bonus:  a tax benefit that may be up to 7500 per year during the first three years.
  2. No risk policy : If an employee is sick , the employer does not have to continue to pay wages . The government pays the employee.
  3. A job coach who guides employer and employee. 
  4. Reimbursement of the necessary tools and adaptations.

Note: A law is being prepared in which the mobility bonus will be only 1800 euros per year.

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Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities

The Law Jobs appointment and disability quota (February 2015) requires employers that 5% of the workforce must consist of people with occupational disabilities. If the employer does not meet the quota, he must pay a fine of 5,000 euros per unfilled job. But the quota only covers people with disabilities who can't earn more than the minimum wage or had a disability status at a very young age and did never work at all. People who can earn more than the minimum wage if they should have a job or people who became disabled later in life are excluded from the quota.

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Vocational counselling.

There are two institutes in the Netherlands that provide vocational training for people with visual impairments. 80 % of people with visual impairments follow regular professional training and are supported by a specialized attendant

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Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment.

People with visual impairments work mainly in the categories of trade, catering, transport, financial services, and commercial services (29.3 %) and in education or in the government (26.1%).

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Looking for a job

4.8% of the people without a job are looking for work and 10.3 % of the people who have a job are looking for another job.
The reasons that people cite for not seeking a job are; "It's hard for me to find a job by myself.,' I do not know what job suits me' or 'I feel no need to work, I'm working on rehabilitation'. People are afraid of losing their disabled person status and thereby losing their financial security when they go to work. With changing legislation this argument will disappear.  
Less people will obtain disabled status (and the accompanying financial security) in the coming years. Therefore the need to find work increases, but people will get less help from the government in finding a job. More people will rely on the Oogvereniging to help them find work. In the last year finding work became an interesting topic for our members.

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Legal recognition of disabled worker status

The Netherlands has various types of disabled status. All these different states have different rights attached. Two people with the same visual impairment can have a different disability status of disabled. Because of the “Law Jobs appointment and disability quota” (wet banenafspraak en quotum arbeidsgehandicapten) which uses a different definition than previously of a disabled worker, less people will get a disabled worker status

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Trade unions and workers with disabilities.

Trade unions represent the interests of people with disabilities. They lobby for better legislation in the legislature but also offer practical help in finding work. Each sort of disabled status has its own department.

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