Fund to support the employment of disabled people
The Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is concerned about the issue of employment for people with health issues. But the key question is what methods will be used to battle unemployment.
The authorities have proposed the creation in the near future of a regional fund to support employment opportunities for people with health issues. As the head of the Ministry of Labour Maxim Topolin explained during Question Time in the Duma, the fund must above all react to instances where an employer has refused work to a disabled person. It has been proposed that the fund will be made up of contributions by employers, writes Regnum.
The Ministry is working on the issue of compensation payments, which employers will be obliged to pay out if they refuse to employ a disabled person for certain reasons.
“The most important question is how the money from this fund will be used,” says Mikhail Novikov, Director of Perspectives (ASI’s Department for the Employment of Disabled People). A similar practice exists, for example, in France: money is collected from employers who do not fill quotas. These funds are then used to support organisations and foundations which help employers hire people with disabilities. Such a practice has also been trialled in Moscow: money has been collected from organisations which have not observed quotas for a number of years.
“But the creation of jobs does not in itself solve the problem of employment,” according to Novikov. In his opinion, the idea is fine, but its realisation will directly depend on the organisers and implementers. “Above all, everything will go towards the provision of work places, and possibly towards supporting a special unit for the Institute of the Blind,” proposed the expert. “We anticipate that money will not be disbursed from the Federal Budget, but from this fund. But then the general employment situation will not be affected.”
Mikhail Novikov is sure that the time has come to invest funds not in workplaces or in motivating employers, but in disabled people themselves, raising their professionalism and participation in social activism so that employers want to hire them. “Only then will the situation change at all,” emphasised the expert.
Previously the Labour Minister Maxim Topolin has spoken about the implementation of “supported employment” services for disabled people, and attracting NGOs to fulfil this work.