The disabled sacrificed by the crisis? ” Not at all ! “, protests Sophie Cluzel, Secretary of State in charge of disabled people: “We have done everything to prevent them from being the adjustment variable in the crisis. “ During confinement, 230 million euros were thus devoted to establishments and services to help through work (ESAT), 100% funded by the State so that those who work there do not experience any drop in income and to avoid weakening of the tool.
In addition to partial unemployment, adapted companies were able to benefit from a special fund of 350 million euros, shared with companies in the social and solidarity economy, to prepare for the recovery. “They have a colossal rebound capacity and were among the first to invest in the Resilience project to produce masks”, congratulates the Minister, showing the transparent inclusive mask made by one of them.
Of “CDD springboards” have also been put in place to enable them to hire employees whom they put in a situation in traditional companies which undertake to hire them at the end of their training.
Because the government’s goal is to promote the reception of disabled people in all businesses. As for young people, but without age limit, assistance of € 4,000 is thus offered for the hiring of a disabled person on a permanent or fixed-term contract of more than six months. “Since the 1er January, this represents 4,000 new hires, two-thirds of which are on permanent contracts, announces Sophie Cluzel. And as we had a little delay in starting, the Prime Minister announced the extension of this aid until the end of June. “
To promote the employment of the disabled, 15 million euros of the recovery plan are therefore devoted – in addition to the 50 million euros existing – to“Supported employment”, a free coaching service for businesses and funded by the government. “This is particularly interesting for mental disabilities, little known to business leaders and which needs specific support to avoid professional disinvestment and layoffs”, explains Sophie Cluzel.
“With 3.9% of disabled people in companies, we are certainly still far from the objective of 6%, but we were still at 3.5% three years ago”, she concedes, noting that the objective is almost reached in the public service with 5.83%. “Local communities are very virtuous”, insists Sophie Cluzel who hopes that the 2020 figures for the employment of the disabled, at the end of February, will confirm the drop started since 2019 (read benchmarks).
For her, it is also about continuing to change the way disability is viewed in companies. “Companies tell us how much, when they hire people with disabilities, it transforms relationships and social dialogue”, explains the one who would also like to strengthen the Duoday.
Initially scheduled for May, the latest edition of this initiative, which allows the reception of a disabled person in a company with a volunteer professional, was postponed to the end of November, during the European Week for the employment of disabled people. Despite the restrictions, 10,000 duets were organized, including one, noticed, with Emmanuel Macron. “For many companies, it has become an opportunity to identify future employees”, rejoices Sophie Cluzel. The 2021 edition should take place at the end of November.
The Secretary of State does not want the crisis to be a barrier to accessibility either. “The large establishments have made good progress, but today I would like to make progress on the accessibility of everyday life, especially in small communities that have financial or heritage difficulties. “ Civic service “accessibility ambassadors” will thus support small communities in their journey, while 120 million euros from the recovery plan have been earmarked to support SNCF in order to ensure accessibility to stations before 2025 .
It also wants to support businesses in overcoming the crisis. “It is about making people understand that accessibility is not a burden but an investment to welcome new audiences”, she explains, grateful that “We have been too dogmatic when we have to be pragmatic”.
“The crisis has forced us to act differently. By working less in isolation, we were able, in an emergency, to find respite solutions ”, concludes Sophie Cluzel, giving the example of the unique support number 0.800.360.360. “By getting all of us around the table, we were able to act in a very productive way: I would like to capitalize on this. “