Belgium reserves civil service jobs for people with disabilities

In an effort to meet its employment targets, the Belgian federal government has introduced civil service vacancies reserved exclusively for people with disabilities, Het Nieuwsblad reports.

The Belgian federal government has set a target of filling 3 per cent of all civil service vacancies with people with disabilities, but has failed to meet this target for years. Research in the Belgian region of Flanders has shown that disability is one of the main causes of discrimination in the labour market, along with age and physical characteristics.

To boost efforts, Belgium's Minister of Civil Service, Petra De Sutter (Groen, Flemish Greens), has launched job vacancies reserved exclusively for people with disabilities. The vacancies include positions such as receptionist, file manager or facilities officer. The measure has been in force since the end of 2022 and will continue until the target is reached.

"This will really make a difference," De Sutter told Het Nieuwsblad. "We will really look for these people and offer them opportunities such as taking exams digitally and working more from home. People with disabilities should also be able to advance afterwards. They are even more under-represented in senior positions than elsewhere. Why can't someone in a wheelchair be a good CEO?"


Vice-prime minister and minister of Civil Services and State-owned companies Petra De Sutter © BELGA PHOTO MAXIME ASSELBERGHS

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