Russian employment services must improve support for disabled people

The Minister of Labour has called on the employment service to ‘face the problems of the disabled head on’


Maxim Topilin has proposed the creation of an employment passport for disabled people of working age.

During a conference call with the leaders of the authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation held on 8 August, the Minister reported that the level of employment for people with disabilities falls far short of employment rates among the general population. According to information released by the Press Office of the Ministry of Labour, local authorities have been instructed to collect data on unemployed people with disabilities as a matter of urgency and to consider why they cannot find employment and how welfare organisations are helping them.

It was previously disclosed that there are around 3.7 million people with disabilities of working age in Russia, but only a quarter of them (about 1 million people) are in work.

“The offices of the employment service and local authorities should be monitoring the situation and considering where disabled people live, why they are not working and why they cannot find work, and what the obstacles and barriers to their working are. We need to establish an ’employment passport’ for all working-age people with disabilities,” Maxim Topilin added.

During the conference call the Minister instructed the Russian Pension Fund to forward information about the employment status of disabled people to the offices of the employment service in the regions on a permanent basis.

“We are in the process of restructuring the employment service so that they face the problems of disabled people head on. So that you don’t wait for disabled people to come to you, instead you go to them and do your job so that you can offer them employment opportunities of one kind or another”, the Head of the Ministry of Labour commented. “They should all be made aware of this and none of them should feel let down by authorities for failing to provide them with something or support them in some way.”

The head of the Ministry reminded his audience that every region of Russia is set clear targets in terms of the help they are to give to people seeking work in 2017, including assistance for disabled people looking for employment. The Ministry of Labour has also drafted a law regarding supported employment for disabled people which is currently under review by the government. The bill states that this service of ‘supported employment’ includes arranging transport for people to get to their place of work, creating jobs especially for them or agreeing a specific work schedule. In addition, unemployed people with a disability will be given one-to-one assistance in finding work, they will be offered comfortable working conditions as well as help in adapting to their role. With this objective Topilin asked the leaders of the regional authorities to take immediate steps to establish new ways of delivering social care to people with disabilities.


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