Fostering Employment through Sheltered Workshops: Reality, Trends and Next Steps
The present study assesses the situation of sheltered workshops across the EU at present, especially with regard to article 27 of the UNCRPD. It then explores in detail the situation in seven countries: Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. In terms of legal frameworks, the clearest requirements for sheltered workshops come from the UN through the UN CPRD and General Comment n.8. These, in combination with previous UN praxis in recommendations to Member States, have delineated an increasingly critical view of the sector, up to the point of recommending its phasing out. With regard to sheltered workshops in practice, this study found that across the EU, there are insufficient, or poorly suited, policy measures to encourage mainstream employers to hire persons with disabilities. This, coupled with unfavourable conditions in the open labour market as well as extensive financial support from the state for sheltered labour market participants, is contributing to the growth of the sheltered labour market. This study makes a number of recommendations to the actors involved.
Dr Lara Bezzina
EASPD. (2022) Fostering Employment through Sheltered Workshops: Reality, Trends and Next Steps. Brussels.
Brussels, December 2022