Disabled workers: hiring them is worthwhile

Work is essential to the effective inclusion and self-affirmation of people with disability, as it is for everybody else. Unfortunately, data about their employment are far from being reassuring: in Italy, despite many measures approved since decades to encourage the inclusion of disabled workers, 80% of people with a disability is unemployed. They aren’t “unable”, but people that, despite limitations descending from their specific disability, would have the ability and skills to be active also under a work perspective, if they’d have been given the opportunity.

There are many laws to facilitate the inclusion of disabled people in the world of work, together with incentives and facilitations for businesses that hire them. The 68/99 law, that established the so-called “disability hiring quotas” has proven to be, in many ways, inadequate to the current world of work. For that reason, through the Jobs Act, an important change has been introduced, through the legislative decree no. 151 of September 14th 2015, entered into force starting from January 1st 2018*.   

1. OBligation to hire disabled workers

  • Less than 15 employees: no obligation
  • From 15 to 35 employees: at least 1 disabled worker
  • From 36 to 50 employees: at least 2 workers with disability
  • More than 150 employees: at least 7% of disabled employees, more 1% of relatives of invalid people or repatriated refugees. 

lavoratori disabili

2.  BONUS to hire disabled workers (since 2016)

Since 2016, businesses that hire workers with reduced working capacity receive a bonus, whose value depends on the percentage of disability of the hired worker:

  • for working capacity reduction from 67% to 79%, the employer receives a hiring bonus equal to 35% of the monthly gross salary for 36 months;
  • for reductions above 79%, the employer receives a bonus equal to 70% of the monthly gross salary for a maximum of 36 months, for each worker hired with a permanent contract;
  • for workers with intellectual and psychical disability implicating a working capacity reduction above 45%, in case of hiring with a permanent contract or with a temporary contract whose length is at least 12 months, a bonus equal to 70% of the monthly gross salary for a maximum of 60 months.

Requests for the incentive must be addressed to INPS, filling the appropriate form available on its website, in the businesses area.

lavoratori disabili riunione

3. sanctions for non-compliance with the obligation

Sanctions against employers not complying with the obligation to hire workers with disability have been worsened. In detail, they pass from 62,77€ for each working day of non-compliance (beyond 60 days from the insurgence of the obligation) to 153,20€ for each day without covering the obligatory quota and for each disabled worker not hired.

But, besides tax benefits and sanctions, businesses would have to realize that hiring a worker with disability shouldn’t be just an “act of charity” or a law obligation: a worker with disability assigned to tasks fitting with his own condition is not a weight, but an additional and valuable resource for the company. If only they’d give us the chance to demonstrate our ability and skills, without stopping to our disability percentage or being influenced by prejudice…

*Due to the Milleproroghe Decree

Computers & co.: how to buy them saving money

Are you considering replacing your old computer or buying a more “up-to-date” smartphone? We all know how important these devices are nowadays, to make our life easier, stay in touch with friends, colleagues and relatives and- why not? – enjoy, plan a trip or relax.

That’s true for everyone and, even more so, it’s important for who lives with a physical or sensory disability: think, for instance, about how important it’s being able to book a medical examination, consult a medical report or plan a trip directly from home, without having to move. Or, again, think about how videocalls and apps have facilitated the communications among deaf and “not disabled” people.

The good news is that you can buy these devices saving money, provided that you can demonstrate that they are needed to go beyond the limits of your own physical, visual or auditive disability, enabling you to work, communicate, interact with people around you or, again, have easy access to information sources.

In accordance with the 104/92 law, indeed,  you can benefit from the favoured VAT rate (4% instead of 22%) to buy not only aids and means people with motoric disability need to walk or move, but also electronical and IT devices helping (physical and/or sensory) disabled people to have a better life. For instance:

  • facilitating interpersonal communications
  • written or graphic processing
  • control over the environment
  • access to information and culture
  • assisting the rehabilitation

computer

Now, let’s see which devices can benefit from the favoured VAT rate:

  • computers (desktop pcs, notebooks, tablets)
  • modems
  • faxes
  • telephones with speakerphone or suitable for videocalls (for auditive disabled people, of course)
  • other (to be specified by the specialist who prescribes the device).

Benefiting from these facilitations is easy: you just need two documents:

  1. the certificate attesting the motoric, visual, auditive or related to speech disability (these are the only disabilities eligible for benefiting from this facilitation)
  2. the prescription released by the specialist of your Local Health Authority, demonstrating the link between the permanent functional disability and the benefit that buying and using that device could bring.

Furthermore, upon buying the device, you’ll have to fill a form where you self-certify your right to benefit from this facilitation.