Our work on employment policy
The right to work and employment is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, it is also far from being a reality for millions of persons with disabilities willing to work.
Across the EU, persons with disabilities are far less likely to be employed than persons without disabilities. The latest available EU-level data is from 2019 and shows that persons with disabilities in the EU are 24.4 percentage points less likely to be employed than persons without disabilities. Only 50.8 percent of persons with disabilities are employed, compared to 75 percent of persons without disabilities. The situation is even worse for women with disabilities. On average only 48.3% of women with disabilities are in employment. The figures are even lower when looking at full-time employment with solely 20.6% of women with disabilities and 28.5% of men with disabilities working full-time. Among the most affected are persons with psychosocial disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities.
The barriers to quality employment add to the problem of poverty and social exclusion faced by persons with disabilities. The latest EU-level figures from Eurostat suggest that 28.4% of all persons with disabilities in the EU live in poverty.
For the European Disability Forum, guaranteeing access to employment and occupation in the open labour market is a key issue, as it is a crucial aspect for the economic and social inclusion of 100 million persons with disabilities in Europe.
Unemployment may lead to poverty and social exclusion. Barriers preventing access to the employment market are most of the times based on misconceptions and judgments on a person’s abilities. That is why EDF works on various levels to develop legislation in the field and to promote positive action in the labour market.
- EDF analysis of the Social Pillar Action Plan (PDF)
- EDF analysis of the Social Pillar Action Plan (Word)
- EDF Input on Article 27 General Comment
- EDF Position Paper on Social Pillar Action Plan 2020
- EDF Position Paper on Adequate Minimum Wage 2021
- EDF 2020 Human Rights Report on Poverty and Social Exclusion (see chapter 6 on employment)
- EDF 2020 Human Rights Report on poverty and Social Exclusion (easy-to-read version)
- Joint Statement on the use of State Aid for employment of persons with disabilities and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) May 2020
- EDF’s analysis on the 2020 European Semester Country Reports
- EDF’s analysis on the European Semester Autumn Package 2020
- EDF’s response to Commission consultation on EURES – European Job Mobility Portal – 2020 (PDF format)
- Event Report : Disability and in-work poverty – Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth 2019
- EDF workshop on youth employment 2019
- EDF Report on Evaluating the ‘Defence of rights’ under the Employment Directive April 2013
- EDF Report on the implementation process of the Employment Directive
- EEG position on the Social Pillar Action Plan 2021
- Analysis of the final Common Provisions Regulation agreement 2021-2027
- Analysis of the final Regional Development Fund Regulation agreement 2021-2027
- Analysis of the final European Social Fund Plus agreement 2021-2027
- The Employment Directive
- General Block Exemption Regulation (the GBER) on state aid measures
- European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs