Employment rate of disabled workers stable at 3.5%

The direct employment rate of disabled workers remained stable in 2021, at 3.5% of the workforce of the companies concerned, still far from the minimum level of 6% required by law, according to a statistical study published Thursday November 3.

In detail, however, the progress to be made by employers to achieve the legal objective is not as important as it seems at first sight, specifies Dares, the statistical service of the Ministry of Labor.

Goals not achieved

On the one hand, the objective of 6% of disabled people in each company with more than 20 employees must be adapted on a case-by-case basis, with a rounding rule: thus a company with 25 employees should in theory hire 1.5 disabled worker, but the law provides for this figure to be rounded to 1, which in effect lowers the requirement. As a result, at the national level, the actual rate expected by law was 5.6% of disabled workers in 2021, according to calculations by Dares.

On the other hand, a 2020 reform introduced a “overvaluation” disabled workers over the age of 50, in order to give a helping hand to older job seekers. By taking this provision into account, we end up with an employment rate “increased” observed 4.5%, instead of the expected 5.6%, i.e. an objective achieved at 80% (compared to 77% in 2020), specifies the study.

Of all the 108,000 companies concerned, only 29% have fully complied with their employment obligation. Conversely, 31% of companies did not employ any disabled workers last year. Overall, the larger the company, the more it approaches – or even exceeds – the minimum rate, observes Dares.

A rate twice that of the population

When the employer does not reach this rate, he must pay a contribution to the fund for the professional integration of disabled people.

Since the 2020 reform, this financial penalty can however be reduced, or even canceled, if the company has a certain number of positions in its workforce. “requiring special aptitude conditions”. However, 10% of all jobs in companies affected by this system are in this case, and even 42% in the construction sector alone.

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities, which reached 19% before the Covid crisis, fell to 14% in 2022, but it remains almost twice that of the general population (7.4%).


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