22/09/2021 - Ireland should better engage with employers to increase hiring and keeping staff with disabilities while at the same time improve its passive disability benefit system, according to a new OECD report.
Disability, work and inclusion in Ireland: Engaging and supporting employers says that the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath make action more important than ever. There is a large risk that the labour market situation for persons with disabilities will deteriorate further, as happened following the global financial crisis.
In Ireland, only one out of three persons with disabilities has a job, one of the lowest shares in Europe and the OECD area. Persons with disabilities are half as often in a job as those without disabilities. At the same time, more than one out of ten Irish adults receive a disability payment, including many young people. This is one of the highest shares in OECD countries. Data indicate that many of them would like and be able to work if the right support measures were in place.
The report shows that engaging employers is critically important to build a better world of work for persons with disabilities. Disability employment policy in Ireland has improved in the past decade but the reforms have not produced the desired results. Overcoming misperceptions and discrimination as well as better awareness of available support and subsidies are key. Yet, Ireland still has an underdeveloped employer engagement structure. The report also highlights the importance of widely accessible and well-funded services by both Intreo (the Irish public employment service) and further education and training providers. Furthermore, employers can capitalise on new opportunities for persons with disabilities given the rise of teleworking and other assistive technologies.
To get more people with disabilities into the labour market, the report recommends the Irish government:
To keep persons with disabilities in sustainable employment across all Irish regions, the report recommends the government to:
For further information on this report, journalists should contact one of the authors: Christopher Prinz (firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 45 24 94 83), Stefan Thewissen (email@example.com; +33 1 85 55 47 82), Tilde Ussing (firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 85 55 45 73) and Cem Özgüzel (email@example.com).
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