France

France

Region: Europe

Disability Definition

Any limitation on the activity or restriction of participation in the life of a person in society by a person because of a substantial, permanent or permanent impairment of one or more physical functions constitutes a disability: sensory, mental, cognitive or psychic, polyhandicap or disabling health condition.

Legislation

Disability Act of 11 February 2005

  • Reaffirms the right to employment
  • Extends the principle of access to new collective housing and buildings open to the public. Public buildings must not only be accessible but also ensure a continuous chain of access: access to railway stations, public transport, curbs and ramps.
  • The national government in 2016 revised the Compulsory Declaration of Employment for Disabled Workers (DOETH) framework, covering many relevant disability employment policy areas including quota hiring policies and procedures.

UN CRPD ratification in February 2010

Employer Legal Requirements

French law sets an employment obligation quota of 6% of disabled workers for any employer with at least 20 employees.

Employers are provided with 3 options to meet this target: Hiring people with disabilities (direct hire), subcontratcing workers from the sheltered sector (indirect hire), paying a contribution fee to a specific organization which then uses the funds to further professional inclusion in both the private and public sectors

Up to 80% of the measures taken to hire a disabled worker, including equipment and specific training, can be compensated through public funding.

The French measures to promote employment of persons with disabilities are double-sided., and consist of (1) the employment obligation to employ specified percentage of persons with disabilities (employment quota system), and (2) improvement of law concerning employment and work conditions for those people. Reasonable accommodation falls in the latter and is considered to be indispensable for ensuring the principle of equal treatment of persons with disabilities. The government tries to promote the employment of persons with disabilities and improve their work conditions through these two approaches.

The employer’s “obligation to exercise reasonable accommodation” can be interpreted as an extension and development of the employer’s “obligation to provide readaptation” (obligation to maintain at work) that has existed for some time. It is clearly stated in the labor law that employer’s refusal to provide reasonable accommodation would be regarded as a discriminatory treatment.

Reasonable accommodation provided by employers is supported by various forms of financial assistance given through labor contracts and institutions such as AGEFIPH in France.

From the employer’s side wishing to recruit an employee there mustn’t be any positive or negative segregation in the selection process. During the selection interview the disability situation of the candidate should be mentioned only in case the recruitment of the person would imply some specific adaptations of the working conditions.

500 X minimum hourly rate per unfilled job – for companies employing between 200 and 749 employees – up to 1500 X minimum hourly rate, for failure to meet for more than 3 consecutive years.

Companies can also be excluded from public procurement markets in case of non-compliance.”
Employers must file reports with CDAPH (Committee on the Rights and Autonomy of Persons with Disabilities)

Employers can ask disability status information at the Application stage: no
After offer has been made: yes, assuming employee has been given GDPR-compliant notice of the data collection
After employment commences: yes, assuming employee has been given GDPR-compliant notice of the data collection

Accessibility Requirements

France has ICT and reasonable accommodation requirements.

The certification standard for public web sites in France is the Référentiel Général d’Accessibilité pour les Administrations (RGAA), which defines the set of requirements and evaluation process for determining if a web site is accessible. The RGAA utilizes the WCAG 2.0 guidelines as a basis and defines a few additional requirements for accessibility. The most notable item in the RGAA is the inclusion of unit tests that define how to determine compliance with each requirement. This is meant to ensure that the conformance with the standard as a whole can be tested through the execution of a series of unit tests on a site. Access RGAA: http://references.modernisation.gouv.fr/referentiel/

BrailleNet – a French disability advocacy – provides the AccessiWeb certification standards that lead to a certification label that can be placed on a web site. http://www.accessiweb.org/

European Accessibility Act The European Parliament and the Council came to a provisional agreement on the Commission’s proposal for a European Accessibility Act on 8 November 2018. https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1202

Cultural Norms

Disability affects 12 million French citizens. To improve the living conditions and resources available to our disabled fellow citizens, the Government is rolling out a comprehensive, interministerial policy which, from 2018, will lead to specific ministerial action plans being set up.

France lags about four decades behind countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom when it comes to diagnosing and treating autism. For example, only in 2005 did France stopped defining autism as a psychosis.

In Paris, if you see a blind or disabled person at a corner, it’s considered completely normal to grab his arm and walk him across the street. (From a Business Insider article)

Insights

Beginning in 2018, France has launched a comprehensive disability inclusion campaign nationally, spanning policy areas of human rights, social safety nets, education. For employment, the campaign’s theme is “Accessing the job market and working like everyone else.” Priority areas under this theme include reducing the gap between the unemployment rates for people with and without disabilities; making recruitment and retention easier for both public and private entities; reforming the requirement to employ disabled workers from what is perceived as a punitive approach through fines into an asset-value proposition aligned with social responsibility; increasing skills training and easing school-to-work transitions.

While public awareness is growing, and disability rights have made some headway in France, equal opportunity is still a distant prospect, not least because the state itself is lagging behind. On top of those practical challenges come a number of social obstacles: among them, the marginalization that comes from a lack of representation and visibility.

Supplier Diversity

Certification is in place for women-owned business enterprises.

Talent Sourcing Resources

GIRPH Regional Interprofessional Group for the Promotion of Employment and Disability (Le Groupement Interprofessionnel Régional de Promotion de l’Emploi et du Handicap) Specializing in support and job placement for people with disabilities. http://www.girpeh-asso.fr

ANRH Association for the Integration and the Professional and Human Reintegration of the Disabled (Association pour l’Insertion et la Réinsertion Professionnelle et Humaine des Handicapés) Focus on sheltered workshops, supported employment, and transitional or vocational rehabilitation employment. http://www.anrh.fr/

HANDICAP FRANCEWeb resource clearinghouse with a job posting board and job seeker matching assistance. https://www.handicap.fr/

Additional Resources

Official Government Website for People with Disabilities www.handicap.gouv.fr

TH Conseil Consulting firm focused on disability inclusive work places as a component of diversity and CSR. Consultants aid companies with navigation and customization, blending policy and philosophy with practical training. https://www.thconseil.fr/

AGEFIPH Management Association of the fund for the professional integration of disabled people (Association de gestion du fonds pour l’insertion professionnelle des personnes handicapées) https://www.agefiph.fr/

LADAPT Association for Social and Professional Inclusion of People with Disabilities (Association pour Insertion Sociale et Professionnelle des Personnes Handicapées)

Diakonie Neuendettelsau – Directorate Services for People with Disabilities https://www.diakonieneuendettelsau.de/menschen-mit-behinderung/offene-behindertenarbeit-hilfen/

Handicap International in France is an independent international non-governmental organization, working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disasters. Working alongside disabled and vulnerable people it serves and reflects, in response to their basic needs, improve their living conditions. Available in English and French. https://handicap-international.fr/fr/index

More Resources:

  • Centre de Réadaptation Professionnelle et Fonctionnelle de Nanteau-sur-Lunain
  • Fédération des Aveugles et Handicapés Visuels de France
  • Fédération National des Sourds de France
  • Groupement des Personnes Handicapées (GFPH)

European Disability Forum (EDF) is an independent European non-governmental organization (ENGO) that represents the interests of 50 million disabled people in the European Union and stands for their rights. It was created in 1996 and is based in Brussels. http://www.edf-feph.org/

References

The DOETH Toolbox: https://www.agefiph.fr/content/download/797065/19115579/file/Téléchargez+le+Guide+Questions+Réponses+DOETH.pdf

Disability: a priority for the five-year term. Government web resource. http://www.gouvernement.fr/en/disability-a-priority-for-the-five-year-term

Report of France to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2017 advance copy

How France is facing its outdated autism treatment and care practices https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/france-autism-treatment-care-support-french-healthcare-a8161416.html

7 French Customs That Americans Don’t Understand https://www.businessinsider.com/7-french-customs-that-americans-dont-understand-2014-10

Center for Talent Innovation – Disabilities & Innovation Report http://www.talentinnovation.org/publication.cfm?publication=1590

French Accessibility Requirements https://www.levelaccess.com/french-accessibility-requirements/