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Norwegian Social Research Working paper Yuliya Kuznetsova PhD student/ Marie Curie Research Fellow Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets (DREAM)

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Presentation on theme: "Norwegian Social Research Working paper Yuliya Kuznetsova PhD student/ Marie Curie Research Fellow Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets (DREAM)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Norwegian Social Research Working paper Yuliya Kuznetsova PhD student/ Marie Curie Research Fellow Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets (DREAM) Project NOVA – Norwegian Social Research Institute Joint NordWel REASSESS International Summer School August 2012, Hanasaari, Espoo, Finland Enhancing access to employment for persons with disabilities: a comparison of the social regulatory policies in Norway and the UK

2 Norwegian Social Research Introduction The widespread recognition of the ‘social model‘ of disability instead of the ‘medical model’ and intensification of the rights- based approach Welfare reforms, minimization of redistributive provisions and introduction of more active measures to promote employment of persons with disabilities Since late 1990s the strong commitment to labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities in the European Union (EU) has given rise to new national disability policies promoting active participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream labour market. More attention has been given to social regulatory policies aimed to enhance inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce. The ‘social regulation’ policies that focus on equality and non-discrimination represent a great potential for improving the prospects of employment for persons with disabilities. However, it is unlikely they can fully replace redistributive provisions.

3 Norwegian Social Research Redistributive disability policies: Regulatory disability policies: Aimed to maintain rather than empower person with disabilities Centered on segregation, medical treatment and exclusion Promoted dependence on receiving ‘passive benefits’ Obligations of providing employment to persons with disabilities have fallen upon the government and the state. Such employment schemes as quota schemes, sheltered workplaces, vocational rehabilitation programmes prevailed Focus on equality, social inclusion and promoting non- discrimination in all spheres of life, including employment Enhance access of persons with disabilities to employment Impose more obligations on employers Influence market agents to act in line with social objectives

4 Norwegian Social Research Problem Eventhough the expansion of regulatory disability policies has been observed in many European countries, the employment rate of persons with disabilities is still reported low, as well as discrimination is still considered the major hindrance for persons with disabilities in finding employment and in working environment Many employers are unaware of their duties or are reluctant to comply with these duties Objective The paper aims to analyse the development of the social regulatory policies in Norway and the UK, precisely regulatory disability policies enhancing inclusion of persons with disabilities into the workforce and preventing discrimination. The paper discusses policies’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their similarities and differences.

5 Norwegian Social Research Social regulatory policies enhancing access to employment for persons with disabilities Research questions : What (new perspectives) have these policies given to persons with disabilities to enhance their access to employment? What are the strength and weaknesses of these policies? How do employers experience these policies in practice?

6 Norwegian Social Research NorwayUK Social democratic welfare regime: high welfare cash benefits, social protection, freedom from the labour market, highly regulated labour market Implementation of active labour market policies Focus on safety and work environment Redistributive provisions have more important role than regulatory policies Employment rate for persons with disabilities – 42,3%, total employment – 73,9% (Statistics Norway, 2011 data) Liberal welfare regime: minimal and targeted welfare arrangements, more emphasis on anti-discrimination strategy, high dependence on the labour market, minimal social rights Replacement of the old ‘quota scheme’ with anti- discrimination measures Long tradition focused on the individual- interventions and promotion of anti- discrimination policies Percentage of people with a disability in employment – 45,6%, and without – 75, 2% (Office for National Statistics, UK, Q2 2011)

7 Norwegian Social Research Level Social regulatory provisions promoting principles of equality and non-discrimination for persons with disabilities to enhance their access to employment LegislationFinancial incentives Awareness / persuasion (strategies/ programmes/ recommendations) UN  United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) 2006, Article 27 – the right to employment EU  The Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997 and its Article 13  The European Equality Directive (2000/78/EC ) Social Protection & Social Inclusion Strategy, Europe 2020, European Employment Strategy, ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’, ‘Youth on the move’, ‘European platform against Poverty’, European Disability Action Plan , European Disability Strategy Norway  The Working Environment Act (WEA) of 1978, 1995, 2001, 2005 and  Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act (ADAA or the Act June No 42) entered into force on January 1, 2009 Wage subsidies to employers Reimbursement of reasonable accommodation Transport subsidies Assistance in adjustment of the workplace White Papers (1991, 1995, 2006) A More Inclusive Working Life (the IA Agreement) since 2001 The Act on Civil Servants The “Trainee programme” as of 2007 UK  The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995  The DDA 2005  The Equality Act 2010 The Work Programme 2011 Access to Work The Work Choice Disability Employment Advisors “Two tick symbol” or The Disability Symbol

8 Norwegian Social Research Discussion of results Similarities: the right not to be discriminated against in various spheres of life, in access to employment and in work environment is granted to persons with disabilities the term ‘discrimination’ has included all kinds of discrimination (direct, indirect, harrassment) the coverage is extended to people who were not previously protected in case of discrimination, persons with disabilities have the right to apply to the court and special authorities have been created employers duties include all aspects of employment practices, but especially focus on provision of reasonable accommodation and removal of workplace disadvantages Differences: Both public and private employees are subjected to legislation, though to a more extensive degree in the UK than in Norway. Some specific duties, definitions and provisions are different, especially related to the issue of accommodation: e.g. ‘universal design’ and individual accommodation in ADAA 2008, the ‘duty to make adjustment’ in EqA 2010 The size of the private enterprises covered by the legislation is limited in Norway only for private enterprises with more than 50 employees. Strengths : Persons with disabilities are given stronger rights, and successful implementation of the non-discrimination legislation will help eliminate existing stereotypes Weaknesses : The problems with policy implementation are: a) ‘reasonable accommodation’ and associated costs; b) differences in implementation regarding industrial sector and occupations; c) more emphasis on retention that on recrutiment of new employees; d) insufficient policy coordination.

9 Norwegian Social Research Preliminary conclusions: The belief that strong protection of persons with disabilities against discrimination is able to influence their full participation in society and empower them as well as change societal (and employers’) attitudes. UK: long historic tradition of non-discrimination policies; the strong influence of the social model Norway has relied on cooperation and due to the focus on working environment paid more attention to safety and health at work, reduction of sickness absence and retention rather than hiring new employees with disabilities. The non-discrimination has been given more focus quite recently. The non-discrimination regulatory policies have changed the landscape of the social regulatory policies in the two countries and introduced much more needed changes, which is a definite step forward. However, to achieve positive results more coordination, monitoring, awareness, financial incentives need to be strengthened.


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