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Disabled workers: the French approach to an equal opportunity policy

Handicap. Comment favoriser une politique d'inclusion en entreprise ?
Published on
18 February 2020

Successfully implementing a policy that supports the inclusion of disabled workers requires an organization to elaborate an overarching strategy with support from top management. The policy must incorporate a variety of actors in management and human resources as well as outside players. Communication and internal support for the policy will be determining factors in its success. To facilitate this process, French companies can rely on several vectors to support a recruitment policy that favors disabled workers.

While numerous factors can influence the outcome of a disabilities policy, the support of top management is essential. The strategy has to be elaborated with the collaboration of top management in order to ensure enough financial and human resources are made available. This will also enable the company to establish sustainable criteria for evaluating results.

Once a policy is created, it must be implemented throughout the company. A single reference person or team cannot carry out such an important strategy. To solve this issue, companies must create an internal and external network of actors involved in driving the success of the policy. In France, companies can rely on three external levers to support their disabilities policy.

1. Setting up a Professional Workplace Experience for disabled workers 

The French PMSP program (Période de Mise en Situation Professionnelle) offers a rare opportunity for disabled workers to have a workplace experience and imagine their future in a given career. This in-situ testing ground also enables employees and teams to gain awareness about disabled workers and break with common stereotypes. Setting up  role-playing experiences or in-situ experiences offers a unique chance for companies to encourage change and open the way for a successful policy.

2. A “disablilities friendly” label for companies  

French companies can apply for the AFNOR NF X 50-783 label which recognizes their ability to welcome disabled persons. Such official labels are an excellent opportunity to do an overall analysis of the company’s position and evaluate internal practices as relates to disabilities. 

3. Finding external resources to fund coaching and personalized support for a disabled worker

Mentoring, coaching, ergonomics… A disabled worker can require support in a variety of areas. While companies must have resources available to support the integration of a disabled worker, they can also find external resources. For example, the French employment agency can award up to 3,000 euros to support a training and integration plan for a disabled worker.

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