Support for disabled persons in the workplace

A survey by Romania’s National Institute of Statistics conducted during the second quarter of 2011 revealed that 30.1% of all disabled persons aged 15–64 who had a job benefited from special services designed to help them do their work. Among these recipients, 74.3% received personal assistance, 9.5% received special equipment or adjustments to regular equipment, and 47.7% said that special working conditions existed or had been created for them at their workplace.

About the survey

The survey ‘Employment of disabled peoples’ was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) in the second quarter of 2011 as a complementary module to the ‘Household labour force survey’ (Ancheta asupra forţei de muncă în gospodării, AMIGO)

The main purpose of the survey was to obtain information about the number of disabled people who were active on the labour market and their working conditions. Particular attention was paid to:

  • those with long-term health problems and functional disabilities;
  • the degree of involvement of disabled people in revenue-generating activities;
  • the type of restrictions that barred disabled people from having a full professional life;
  • whether they received special assistance and what form this assistance took.

The survey targeted those aged 15–64 years old who had permanent or temporary residence in Romania and who were members of households selected for the AMIGO enquiry.

The data were collected and recorded during face-to-face interviews at the interviewees’ homes, from a sample of 26,740 households. The figures determined for each of the household members who acted as respondents were then extrapolated to the entire country. The non-response rate was 2.3%.

Key findings

Employees with disabilities

The number of people with disabilities employed in Romania in the second quarter of 2011 was 405,238 (4.6%) out of a total number of 8.77 million employed in the 15–64 years-old age group (Table 1).The survey also found that, among those with disabilities:

  • more women were employed than men (5.6% compared with 3.8%);
  • there was a higher rate of employment in rural areas than in urban ones (6.8% compared 3.0%).

Also of interest is the significantly larger share (17.8%) of employed disabled people in the 55–64 age group compared with only 0.8% in the under 35 age group.

Table 1: Employed persons with disabilities, 2nd quarter 2011
 

Total employment

People with disabilities

Employed

As a share (%) of total employment 1

Employed persons of whom:

8,777,232

405,238

4.6

By gender      
Male

4,847,072

186,429

3.8

Female

3,930,160

218,809

5.6

By type of residential area      
Urban

5,081,840

153,082

3.0

Rural

3,695,392

252,156

6.8

By age group      
under 35 years

3,143,151

24,563

0.8

35–44 years

2,712,011

67,178

2.5

45–54 years

1,860,109

124,062

6.7

55–64 years

1,061,962

189,435

17.8

Note: 1Third column divided by second column.

Source: ‘Employment of disabled persons’, 2nd quarter 2011, INS, Bucharest, 2011.

Special assistance at the workplace

The survey found that:

  • 30.1% of disabled workers received special assistance to help them cope with their professional duties in the second quarter 2011.
  • 74.3% of the disabled workers stated they had received assistance of a personal nature;
  • 9.5% of those assisted had received special equipment or had adjustments made to existing equipment;
  • 47.7% stated that they had enjoyed special working conditions at the workplace.

Special working conditions (such as flexible working schedule, teleworking and stationary work) were created for a larger proportion of women (65.3%) than for men (46.7%), for the self-employed (52.3%), and for agricultural workers (49.3%).

The largest share of disabled workers who received special assistance was recorded among unpaid family workers (45.0%), of whom 80.6% received this special assistance in the form of personal assistance, and among agricultural workers (38.6%) (Table 2).

Table 2: Special assistance given to employees with disabilities
 

Total

Recipients of special assistance (%)

Of whom:

Personal assistance (%)

Special working conditions (%)

Total number with disabilities employed, of whom:

405,238

30.1

74.3

47.7

By gender

 

 

 

 

Male

186,429

30.4

75.3

47.7

Female

218,809

21.8

73.7

65.3

By economic sector

 

 

 

 

Agriculture

219,073

38.6

74.3

49.3

Industry and construction

83,511

19.4

71.8

41.4

Services

102,654

20.9

76.2

46.0

By employment status

 

 

 

 

Employees

162,990

20.5

72.3

42.0

Self-employed

150,178

31.7

70.0

52.3

Unpaid family worker

90,039

45.0

80.6

47.6

Source: ‘Employment of disabled persons’, 2nd quarter 2011, INS, Bucharest, 2011.

Commentary

Assistance given to disabled people is a way of increasing their employability. Among the 1.3 million unemployed disabled people in Romania, 64.0% of them stated that they would need one or more forms of assistance to be able to work:

  • 59.0% would require special working conditions at the workplace;
  • 43.4% would need personal assistance;
  • 28.9% would need special equipment or equipment adapted to their needs.

Luminita Chivu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy

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