Employment of disabled people

Employment of disabled people could bring up to 530
million roubles to the state budget


What motivates a
business to employ people with disabilities? What are the difficulties
encountered by employers and employees? It was this that was discussed at the
roundtable: ‘Creating conditions for motivating business to recruit people with
disabilities.’ Initiated by the Public Chamber of Russia’s Commission on social
policy, labour relations and quality of life with the support of Perspektiva
, a regional
public organisation for people with disabilities. Roundtable participants
suggest not to create special jobs for disabled people, but to make the jobs
that are already available accessible to them. Recently, the Moscow city
government spent around two billion roubles creating special work-places for
the disabled, but due to poor organisation the call-centres created were not
very successful.


Mikhail Novikov, head
of programmes for the employment of people with disabilities at Perspektiva,
believes: “Job creation is artificial and means those jobs created are
surplus to requirements. What needs to be discussed is helping those with
disabilities to fill existing jobs. There are thousands of them!”


Prejudice against
disabled people is still prevalent in society today, including among employers.
According to a recent survey, employers believe that people with disabilities
have no qualifications, cannot be dismissed, have no motivation to work, often
get sick and that equipment needed to make the workplace accessible to them
“requires a lot of money.” Because of this, employers are afraid to
work with people with disabilities, says Marina Hodina, the director of
HeadHunter, a recruitment company.


Meanwhile, equipment
to make the workplace accessible for people with disabilities is not
necessarily a big expense. Perspektiva, who arrange ‘inclusive’ work for people
with disabilities, have found that it is often the case that companies have
existing arrangements sufficient to enable disabled people to work effectively.
So, the cost of adapting workplaces is not a problem/excuse. There is, however,
an acute shortage of qualified intermediaries who are able to work with the
disabled and there are very few skilled specialists among disabled people. The
creation of a system of training is therefore extremely important. Even in
companies where people with disabilities do work, they are an extremely small
proportion of the workforce. For example, at KPMG, where training is delivered
to help disabled people adapt to the workplace, out of 3500 employees, there
are only five with disabilities, says Valery Chernov, the HR coordinator at


In the UK 40% of
people with disabilities are in employment, in the U.S. this figure is 24%.
There are no accurate figure for Russia, where it could be anywhere from 3.4 to
6.8%. Today in Russia some 6 million people with disabilities need to be in
work. Their employment would greatly benefit the state, transforming them from
dependents to tax-payers, stresses Sergei Kavokin, General Manager of the
Centre for Social Engineering of Natural Sciences and assistant to Mikhail
Terentyev, Deputy of the Russian State Duma. In his opinion, the employment of
people with disabilities could bring in up to 530 million roubles annually in


Diversity and
Inclusiveness consultant at Ernst & Young, Lori Golden, told us about
America’s experience of solving the problem of employing people with
disabilities. In the United States they started with the physical accessibility
of the workplace and educational institutions. How would a person with
disabilities get to their job or classes? A law requiring all facilities to be
accessible to persons with disabilities was then introduced, and in line with
this a system of inclusive education was also introduced; allowing disabled
children to learn alongside other children, get the same education and
eventually enter the same labour market. In all it took 30-40 years, but today,
when someone gets a job, employers are primarily interested in their professional
qualities, not the existence of a disability.


Following the results
of the round table, the organisers have promised to make recommendations and
send them to federal agencies.







transliterated this because it’s the name of the organisation, so I don’t think
it requires a direct translation. But feel free to change it to Perspective.

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