French firms given financial support to employ disabled workers

Only around half of companies with over 20 employees respect the rule of having 6% of their staff registered disabled

The unemployment rate is twice as high for the disabled population as it is for others
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The number of disabled staff in the workplace in France still falls short of government targets, according to official figures.

The law for employers on taking on people with disabilities was updated in 2020.

All companies, whatever their size, must now detail how many staff have disabilities in their déclaration sociale nominative (DSN), which should be an integral part of the company’s salary software.

Firms with more than 20 employees must have 6% of their staff registered disabled but official figures show the actual percentage of disabled workers in private companies is 3.5%, the same rate as in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The unemployment rate is twice as high for the disabled population as it is for others.

A firm’s penalty for not meeting this quota is a contribution to a fund financing ways to boost employment of people with disabilities.

It amounts to nearly €4,000 a year for a company with 21 employees, and increases with the size of the business.

The amount can be reduced if the company subcontracts services or goods from organisations set up to employ disabled workers.

Companies with more than 250 employees must nominate someone responsible for employing disabled people, a référent handicap. Agefiph, the Association de Gestion du Fonds pour l’Insertion Professionnelle des Personnes Handicapées, says about half of companies with more than 20 employees respect the 6% rule.

It provides support, with income generated by the contributions of firms that have not reached the 6% target.

Director Didier Eyssartier told The Connexion: “Even if the figures are still not good enough, they are improving.

“On average, around 80% of companies now have at least one person who is disabled working for them.”

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Agefiph operates centres in each region, plus a comprehensive website.

Companies can benefit from financial aid to put suitable measures in place, as well as advice from specialists on the wide range of different disabilities.

In some specific cases, amounting to up to €10,000 a year, the Emploi Accompagné scheme gives support throughout a disabled person’s career.

Anyone with disabilities can also find financial help or services from Agefiph.

“We do our best to help those who need it. Our challenge is to increase the visibility and existence of these services,” said Mr Eyssartier.

He added that Agefiph’s philosophy is to support businesses while also encouraging them to take the initiative themselves.

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