The European Commission recently launched its new Disability Employment Package to support Member States in ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy social inclusion and economic autonomy through employment.

The package released by the European Commission is one of the seven flagship initiatives under the framework of the Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 which aims to improve different areas that negatively affect the labour inclusion of persons with disabilities in the EU.

Currently, only half of the 42.8 million persons with disabilities of working age in the EU are employed. The employment package therefore intents to support Member States in enhancing labour supply, skills and competences as well as fostering social inclusion, combatting poverty and promoting equal opportunities.

To achieve this, the Employment Package focuses on six areas for action:

1. Strengthening capacities of employment and integration services

2. Promoting hiring perspectives through affirmative action and combating stereotypes

3. Ensuring reasonable accommodation at work

4. Retaining persons with disabilities in employment: Preventing disabilities associated with chronic diseases

5. Securing vocational rehabilitation schemes in case of sickness or accidents

6. Exploring quality jobs in sheltered employment and pathways to the open labour market

To ensure the implementation of these targets, the Commission called upon the Member States to establish by 2024 targets that will increase the employment rate of persons with disabilities and reduce the respective employment gap. Members of the Disability Platform and Social Partners are invited to help disseminate the deliverables of the Employment Package. For more information, please consult the Joint Paper on Disability Employment Package published by the European Commission.