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For employment policies that include people with disabilities and avoid discrimination

The Assembly today held a joint debate in the plenary session on two themes, “Discrimination in access to employment” and “For a disability-inclusive workforce”.

Following the proposals by the rapporteur Damien Thiéry (Belgium, ALDE), PACE called on member States to take both general measures to promote access to employment for groups that are disadvantaged in this field, and measures to encourage public and private employers to eliminate all forms of discrimination in their recruitment procedures.

According to the resolution adopted, States must, in particular, ensure that their anti-discrimination laws are complete and adopt an integrated policy designed to promote access to employment for disadvantaged groups. The adopted text also recommends making it compulsory for large and medium-sized enterprises to use anonymous CVs, introducing by public and private companies diversity auditing, and supporting voluntary initiatives by these companies to promote diversity.

In a second resolution, adopted on the basis of the report by Adão Silva (Portugal, EPP/CD), the Assembly recommended a series of measures to the member States to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labour market, in particular the adoption of comprehensive national disability actions plans, the implementation of legislation on preventing and combating discrimination in access to employment, the accessibility of public transport and buildings, the possibility for children with disabilities to access mainstream schools, and specialised support for persons with disabilities when in employment and when looking for employment.

The parliamentarians recalled that persons with disabilities encounter multiple obstacles to accessing and participating in the labour market, such as prejudice on their competences, the lack of accessibility, or the the unwillingness of employers to provide reasonable accommodation. “It is essential to promote the added value of recruiting persons with disabilities to trigger a change of mindsets in the long term,” they said.