The integration of the disabled into the work force
The integration of the disabled into the work force is a major objective of the German legislation. It is founded on the constituion (Art.
). The Disabled People Act (Schwerbehindertengesetz) is just revised and introduces an array of new measures to decrease the number of jobless disabled workers by 50.000 within the next two years.
In this paper the current policy mix is analyzed in terms of incentive effects given to employers. Employers face a general obligation to employ disabled workers. If they fall short of keeping five per cent in employment, they pay a general charge of now 200 DM/month, which will be increased by January fst, 2001. In addition, disabled employees are granted special protection against being dismissed.
We suggest three policy options for revising the current legislation: First, increase the information flows between employers and intermediate agencies to solve the matching problem between employers and disabled workers seeking employment. Second, raise the carge as it gives an incentive to employ more disabled workers as well as keeping the ones which became disabled while being employed. Thirdly, abolish the special protection for disabled workers against being dismissed as the carge covers the objective to protect disabled workers as well.