Employment of people with disabilities increases by almost 15 per cent

Significantly more people with physical or mental disabilities were employed in Belgium last year. Their share in the labour market at the end of 2023 increased by almost 15 per cent compared to 2022, data from HR service provider Acerta showed on Wednesday.

At the end of 2023, 1 in 369 employees of private companies had a disability, or around 0.27 per cent. A year earlier, the figure was 1 in 424, or less than 0.24 per cent.

"Companies simply can no longer afford to leave talent untapped"

"The logic of a persistent labour shortage is that companies are approaching the labour market with an even more inclusive perspective," explains Georgia Venetakis of Acerta. "Companies simply can no longer afford to leave talent untapped."

Flanders saw an increase of 8.65 per cent in 2023, reaching an average of 0.2 per cent of the workforce. Wallonia saw a drop of 3.16 per cent, but still performed better than Flanders at 0.38 per cent. In Brussels, 0.51 per cent of employees have a disability, an increase of 46 per cent compared to 2022.

Smaller companies perform better

The data also show that SMEs with up to 100 employees employ more people with a disability, with the highest percentage - 0.6 per cent - in companies with 50 to 100 employees. Companies with more than 100 employees perform significantly worse.

"In smaller organisations, there is a slightly more personalised approach to and among employees, which benefits personal support for people with disabilities," says Venetakis. "And perhaps the roles are not always so tightly defined there, and can be distributed differently if necessary."



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