Ukraine needs to create an effective employment system for people with disabilities.
This was emphasized by the General Director of the Fund for Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities Vitaliy Muzychenko during the round table “Employment of People with Disabilities: European Perspectives in Ukraine.”
“Today we have a certain system. But how effective is it, and is it effective at all? So, before the start of the full-scale invasion, according to statistics, we had more than 2.7 million people with disabilities, only about 700 thousand of them were officially employed. Considering these figures, it was probably not effective, – said Vitaliy Muzychenko. – If in the current state we can talk about a model that is functioning, then we can say that employers in their individual cases make maximum efforts and implement relevant programs. In Ukraine, there is a socially responsible business that interacts, provides appropriate conditions and works in this direction. But at the same time, there are tens and tens of thousands of enterprises, institutions and organizations that not only do not want and have no desire to do this, they even create certain obstacles to enable others to do it. The social responsibility of business implies that if someone does not do it, he should contribute so that someone else does it.”
The expert emphasizes that there are many cases when the conditions of the law on the basics of social protection of persons with disabilities are openly violated by them:
“The vast majority of enterprises try to avoid responsibility in every possible way, despite the fact that they are absolutely clearly aware that today’s conditions of the law on the basics of social protection of persons with disabilities are openly violated by them. That is, the creation of appropriate standards and the employment of persons with disabilities are not ensured. Here we can talk a lot about the reasons for this, but in this case there is a clear violation of the law and there should be a certain responsibility. Taking into account the fact that today, in many cases, persons with disabilities are not interested in being employed in society. There is such a paternalistic model, which suggests that a person with a disability is already considered as a person who has lost functionality and, as a result, the ability to work. This is not quite so. In the vast majority of cases, these are unrelated things that we also need to explain to society, employers and people with disabilities. And in fact, we are talking about a change in approaches, a change in mentality and, in general, a paradigm in society.”
According to him, to change the situation, you need:
- To think about the resource that we can operate in order to create those conditions.
- to create appropriate services and conditions that are necessary for both the employer and the employee in order to ensure the realization of the right to work.
- To change the system of relations between employers, employees and the state so that this triangle focuses on one point, so that we talk about creating an effective employment system for people with disabilities.
The publication was made within the framework of the MATRA Program with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine. Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and should not be construed as reflecting the official position of the Embassy.