Belgium to use information campaigns to boost employment of people with disabilities
Belgian minister of Social Integration Karine Lalieux is making 120,000 euros available for information and awareness-raising campaigns about the employment of people with disabilities. This was announced on Thursday at a press conference. Companies need to change their mentality and adapt their recruitment policy, she said.
According to the Belgian statistical office Statbel, only 26 percent of people with a disability or long-term illness now participate in the labour market. For the general Belgian population between 15 and 64 years of age, the figure is 65 percent.
The government has already decided to do something about the 'price of labour', by which people with disabilities see part of their integration allowance cancelled when they reach a certain professional income. That ceiling now stands at €63,000 per year instead of €23,356 before.
But the labour market participation of people with disabilities is hampered by all kinds of prejudices, said Lalieux. "Too often, employers and citizens only pay attention to the differences, and not to the skills of people with disabilities. If we want to build a truly inclusive society, we need to break these mindsets and prejudices."
The minister is therefore launching a call for projects to develop information and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at changing attitudes in companies. Employers must adapt their recruitment policies to candidates with disabilities, she believes. The call for projects amounts to 120,000 euros, and will be divided equally among the three regions.