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.
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.
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