Too few jobs for disabled people
World Day of Disabled People: Black Year for Disabled People in the German Labor Market
On the occasion of the World Day of Disabled People on December 3, DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach drew a critical note on Thursday in Berlin. „People with disabilities are the losers in the labor market this year. Many older severely disabled workers have lost their jobs during the crisis and have very little chance of finding a new job.“
With the austerity package decided at the end of November by the black-and-yellow federal government, the situation of disabled people in the labor market has further deteriorated: „The cuts in labor market integration measures reduce the chances of the unemployed to receive support. The risk is high that particularly severely handicapped people will be left behind. They urgently need support“, said Buntenbach and demanded a quick change of direction: „Especially in the current economic recovery phase, companies should be required to hire more people with disabilities. Therefore, the countervailing charge has to be increased at least for those companies that employ no or very few severely disabled people.“ Currently, companies with more than 20 employees have paid a compensation levy if they do not meet the statutory employment rate of five percent for the severely disabled.
Overall, the quality of the work must be improved, underlined Buntenbach: „Uncertain and underpaid employment depletes well-being and health. People with and without disabilities need good work instead of precarious jobs.“ In addition, those who can no longer work due to their disability should have better access to the disability pension.
Permanently high unemployment in the group of disabled people
While general unemployment fell steadily in 2010, the unemployment of severely disabled people was consistently above the previous year's level. In November 2010, 173,563 severely disabled people were registered as unemployed, 5.6 percent more than in the same month last year. Looking at the period of the entire crisis, the number of people with severe disabilities has increased by 9.4 percent compared to the pre-crisis level (November 2008). Overall, the number of unemployed is currently two percent below the level of November 2008.
In 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in general and 14.6 percent for severely disabled people. The DGB expects a significantly higher unemployment rate for severely handicapped people in the year 2010. (Pm)