Over the past five years, the number of persons with disabilities on the regular job market in Belgium has increased by 10%, according to a survey by the Acerta Consult HR services company.
The survey, based on data from 30,000 private companies, shows that the sectors with the highest percentages of workers with disabilities are services (0.27%), hospitality (0.26%) and the non-
merchant sector (0.24%).
At the other end of the scale, interim work, and service vouchers (0.05%), and chemicals, pharmaceuticals and energy (0.06%) had the lowest rates.
The hospitality industry also registered the highest increase (+33%) in the past five years, followed by logistics (+21.3%) and metallurgy and manufacturing (+20.9%).
Finally, companies employing between five and nine workers had the highest average percentage of workers with disabilities (0.37%) as against 0.11% for firms with 500 to 999 employees.
“The smallest organisations often have a more personal side and can provide a more personalised accompaniment for people who need it,” Donatienne Knipping, a Human Resources expert at Acerta Consult, explained. “Thanks to subsidies, they have the possibility to take on the additional worker.”
“The integration of persons with disabilities in the workplace is sometimes a taboo,” she added. “We should be able to discuss this subject more openly. Subsidies are a good start but it’s mentalities that need to change.
“Companies need to be open to the idea of providing different staff with employment and they also need to be ready to find a way for this employment to proceed in the best way possible,” Ms. Knipping argued.