Open labour market still beyond the reach of the disabled, in spite of CZK 22,400 million used for creating equal job opportunities
PRESS RELEASE on Audit No. 16/11 – February 6, 2017
The Supreme Audit Office scrutinized funds used for creating equal job opportunities for persons with disabilities in the period from 2010 to 2015. In the audited period, the Ministry of Labour spent nearly CZK 22,400 million for the support. Out of the sum, the SAO scrutinized some CZK 4,100 million and concluded that most of them (96 %) had been paid to employers who were involved in the protected labour market. The main priority of the policy was to support job opportunities of the disabled in the open labour market. However, only minimum amounts from the subsidies were used in the open labour market. Shares of job candidates who had disabilities remained at the same rate during the whole audited period. In addition, the Ministry as well as the Labour Office failed to perform a sufficient control of employment opportunities for the disabled.
Existing employment policies and strategies have not included any concrete and measurable objectives in relation to the disabled. The Ministry of Labour was criticised on this issue by the SAO already in 2010. New strategies of the Ministry are based on statistical data that are issued by the Czech Statistical Office, which publishes its analyses after six-year researching periods. As a result, the Ministry does not have current data about the employment of the disabled, which are needed in the process of creating new strategies as well as for improving expenditure planning.
Most funds (CZK 21,500 million) used during the audited period for the support of the employment of the disabled were paid to employers with more than 50 % staff who were disabled. In reality, the Ministry of Labour provides support to employers who hire disabled workers, while the employment policy mainly aims at higher inclusion of the disabled into the majority of the population and their access to the open labour market. The Ministry only provided CZK 903 million in total into the financial support to the employment of the disabled in the open labour market. The rate kept decreasing, for example, only 1.4 % from the total amount of subsidies were provided for this type of support in 2015.
The protected labour market also involves a system, in which employees with more than 25 staff must have at least 4 % disabled employees. In case they do not meet this condition, they may instead choose to purchase goods or services from external providers whose employees are the disabled at least by 50 %. This system helps to market goods and services, which are created by the disabled, as well as maintain their jobs. The SAO scrutinized 21 selected employers from the protected labour market and concluded that only 42 % from the audited subjects were selling their own products, while the rest only facilitated sales from other suppliers, who did not employ the disabled. In such cases, the system was not achieving its original objective, i. e. supporting the employment of the disabled and increasing the sales of their goods and services.
Supreme Audit Office