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Disability in the workplace

Benoit Montet, our HR expert, recently wrote about the considerations of disabilities in the workplace. He views his findings about this topic and the future of it.

All handicaps are not visible, and some may be more difficult to understand than others.

In the consideration of disability in companies, things seem to be going in the right direction. Even if the 6% quota of workers with disabilities imposed by the law is not applied everywhere, we see a real commitment on the part of companies. In particular, they adopt good support measures in the event of permanent or temporary disability. I believe that the employees are better off and that the issue, for the employer, now goes beyond a simple question of financial compensation. More generally, taking disability into account contributes to a global diversity policy. Of course, we can always do better, but the conditions for success are being laid.

The weakness with regards to this topic is in relation to training. For better inclusion and integration, a level of understanding must become the main focus of improvement. There is still a gap between the supply of skills and the needs of businesses which results in workers with disabilities suffering from a lack of training. An ideal solution for this would be to pay as much attention to physical rehabilitation as to it is done with retraining or training employees as this is just as necessary to a professional future of (re)integration.

Is the situation the same for all types of disabilities?

In general, when it comes to coaching employees with physical disabilities, we are moving in the right direction. On the other hand, efforts are still to be made concerning non-visible handicaps, and in particular psychological handicaps. Adapting a workstation to a wheelchair user is no problem at present. However, there is still a taboo on mental illness. In fact, this raises the same fears and misconceptions that one could observe about physical disability twenty years ago – are we beginning to see the bigger picture?

There are still too many collective prejudices that create blockages at the corporate level. This is particularly true for employees in depression or returning to work after a burnout. There are still things that we do not want to see. Proof that the road is still long: nobody is offended that some companies still practice psychological tests for clerical positions for example. But I remain hopeful because I see the road traveled for physical disabilities. There is a work of reflection to be done and to prolong on the subject, but which also goes far beyond the company.