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RIWC_PARA_A039 Evaluation of German Employment Programme


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A039 Evaluation of German Employment Programme

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RIWC_PARA_A039 Evaluation of German Employment Programme

  1. 1. Evaluating the German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law - Council for disabled employees and accessibility in government agencies - Prof. Dr. Felix Welti/Diana Ramm, M.A. University of Kassel, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Social Work, Chair for Social- and Health Law, Rehabilitation and Disability Law, Germany
  2. 2. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Disability Equal Treatment Law (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz; BGG) came into force in 2002  It is closely related to the Social Code Book IX (SGB IX) and the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)  Laws were intended to implement the ban on discrimination on the grounds of disability based in the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), and in the Employment Equality Directive 2000/78/EC  Most fundamental legal change for persons with disabilities had been achieved in 1994  'No person shall be disfavored because of disability' has been added to section 3 para. 3 of the German Basic Law
  3. 3. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Social Code Book IX - framework legislation and covers the main areas of social law, i.e. social insurance and social assistance  In general, it aims at establishing social inclusion, participation and self- determination for persons with disabilities  General Equality Act applies to persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups  It guarantees i.e. the right to non-discrimination in employment, access to goods and services, buying and renting property  Disability Equal Treatment Law guarantees persons with disabilities the right to non-discrimination and accessibility to public authorities  It guarantees i.e. the right to communication, and acknowledges sign language as an official language
  4. 4. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Germany ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)  BGG is supposed to fulfil the obligations from the Convention  Research objective was to analyse if and how the BGG sufficiently meets the obligations arising from the CRPD  The National Action Plan for the implementation of the CRPD required an evaluation of this law  Evaluation has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)  Examined compatibility of the BGG with the CRPD  Included the question of whether an interpretation is compliant with the CRPD and whether changes in the BGG are required
  5. 5. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Project evaluation objectives were to estimate whether the needs of disabled persons are met and whether the instruments were appropriate to achieve the aims of the law  Specifications of the CRPD and aspects of disability mainstreaming and gender mainstreaming should be fully respected  Our research team consisted of legal and social scientists  We combined jurisprudential analyses with surveys  Jurisprudential analysis should reappraise the existing documents for BGG from parliamentary work, from jurisdiction, and from legal literature  Our research also aimed to identify the relevant issues of application and legal interpretation
  6. 6. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Employees of selected agencies within the scope of the BGG and representatives from organizations and associations of disabled people on the national, regional and local level were surveyed  In particular we selected agencies which have every day citizen contact as the Federal Employment Agency and some Public Health Insurance bodies  We aimed to reach not only those individuals who already had outstanding expertise and experience with the BGG, but also the everyday application of the law and legal awareness should be promoted and raised  We applied social scientific approaches  qualitative and quantitative survey and analysis methods  Structured interviews with experts  Based on these interviews  questions and hypotheses and validated by an online survey
  7. 7. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  We included councils for disabled employees of companies and government agencies in our surveys  Councils are an obligatory part of German industrial relations  They are elected by the severely disabled employees  According to Social Code Book IX councils for disabled employees protect, promote and enforce the rights of disabled employees in relation to employers and work councils  Councils have to ensure that the rights of disabled employees are implemented and employers meet their obligations
  8. 8. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Results of the survey according accessibility in government agencies revealed complaints of missing accessibility  In most cases agency buildings are basically accessible, especially for mobility impaired persons  One of the main focuses in the field of construction is the creation of accessibility in buildings used by the federal government and its agencies  In most cases persons with disabilities complain about missing accessibility in communication and information technology  Difficulties to create accessible government agencies are often caused by restricted financial resources and by unclear responsibilities  There might be a lack of awareness in government and public agencies for the fact that disabled people require more support by government agencies
  9. 9. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  Councils for disabled employees takes significant responsibility for the implementation of the BGG and accessibility in public agencies  The council is legally (only) responsible for promoting the interests of disabled employees, not those of disabled citizens and agency clients  BGG is valued by the councils for disabled employees significantly more often with "very important" for own activity than from other interviewees  Representatives of the councils have better knowledge about the BGG and accessibility than other respondents in the surveyed agencies  Representatives are more often participating in training  They also feel the need to train up themselves  The survey revealed as well that the councils for disabled employees play a significant role in the implementation of accessibility in public agencies
  10. 10. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  In most cases government agencies incorporate councils for disabled employees in the planning process of accessibility projects  Representatives of the councils face a dilemma: On the one hand they want to address problems, on the other hand they are afraid being blamed for drawbacks, especially because they don`t control resources and decisions made up by the agency management  Legal analysis revealed inferences between obligations of employers for disabled people and people or clients with disabilities  Actually, there are no legal connections but it seems reasonable to produce a suitable linking  Facing restricted resources, it is very difficult for councils to deal with all issues of accessibility und to satisfy all expectations
  11. 11. German Federal Disability Equal Treatment Law  We recommend to widen the functions for the councils for disabled employees to fulfill obligations from the BGG in regard of disabled employees  They should get an official mandate to participate in the process of making agencies and enterprises open to the public accessible  They should be mandated to work together with disabled persons’ organizations representing the interests of disabled citizens, users and customers  In the latest BGG reform a government agency for accessibility has been established  Action is needed to define specific functions of councils for disabled employees in regard to the BGG and accessibility strategies and to a more appropriate provision of resources
  12. 12. Thank you very much for your attention! Prof. Dr. Felix Welti Email: