Belgian Federal Government fails at hiring enough people with disabilities

The employment rate of people with a disability in the Belgian Federal Government dropped last year in comparison with 2020, with just one federal organisation achieving the disability employment quota.

In 2021, 1.06% of all civil servants working for the Belgian Federal Government were people with disabilities, down from 1.22% in the previous year, according to the latest evaluation report of the Guidance Committee on the Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities (BCAPH).

Legislation dating back to 2007 and 2009 stipulated that each federal public service must employ people with disabilities at a rate of 3% of its effective capacity by 2010 to reduce inequality of access to employment. However, more than a decade on, only one Federal Government organisation has met this target.

The BCAPH noted a decline despite various measures to promote the recruitment of people with disabilities. To reach the legal quota of 3%, a total of 1,112 additional people with disabilities would have to be recruited.

The Committee stated that this was largely explained by the fact that many employees with disabilities retired in recent years, and the overall decrease in the number of recruitments by the Federal Government.

Since 2009, the BCAPH has monitored the implementation of the 3% target and advised the Federal Government on policy in this area. In its latest evaluation, it addressed the government with 13 recommendations to increase the recruitment of persons with disabilities in the federal civil service.

These include developing a strategic plan to increase this specific employment rate in the long run, while in the short term, it calls on the government to initiate several actions to make the current system of mandatory employment of people with disabilities more efficient, by for example optimising recruitment channels.

It added that awareness-raising actions and actions to promote the employment of people with disabilities, organising remote interviews and increasing the visibility of people with disabilities in the communication campaigns of federal organisations are also pivotal measures to take.



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