Everything You Need To Know About Employing People With Disabilities
Employing people with disabilities in the Republic of Serbia is provided by the Law about professional rehabilitation and employing persons with disabilities. The mentioned law clearly defines persons that can attain the status of persons with disabilities based on different criteria.
The unemployed person with a disability includes everyone between 15 and 65 years of age who is not in any type of employment nor did exercise the right to work, is actively seeking a job, and is registered as unemployed at the local employment organization.
What Are The Rights And Obligations Of Persons With Disabilities?
A person with a disability has the right to disability status evaluation and work capability assessment, as well as employment encouragement and work and social inclusion. This law promotes equal possibilities for everyone in the labor market, prohibits all sorts of discrimination, and encourages gender equality. Persons with disabilities are also entitled to measures and activities regarding professional rehabilitation and employment under both general and special conditions. The latter implies the special adaptation of the workplace and work tasks so that a person with a disability can meet the requirements of the workplace.
Likewise, the law includes measures of active employment policies, employment in specially organized forms of employment, and hiring people with disabilities.
When it comes to responsibilities, a person with a disability must respond to a call for work capability assessment and disability status evaluation, to engage in professional development, actively search for work, and to accept professional rehabilitation. They should cooperate with employment experts during professional rehabilitation and accept measures of active employment policy as well as the employment opportunity in case it arises and is in accordance with their professional capabilities.
Encouraging Hiring Persons With Disabilities
Local employment organizations are responsible for encouraging the employment of persons with disabilities. These organizations should provide maximum when it comes to the implementation of measures and activities of professional rehabilitation, as well as the encouragement of self-employment and hiring persons with disabilities.
What Is Professional Rehabilitation?
Professional rehabilitation is a somewhat broader concept as it includes organization and carrying out measures and activities to train individuals for suitable jobs, employment, maintaining employment, advancement in an existing job, or a career change. It also includes career guidance, professional informing, counseling, and monitoring of the individual employment plan, additional training, retraining, as well as various other programs to improve labor and social integration.
If a person with a disability is employed, he/she has the right to leave during the duration of professional rehabilitation and his/her employment cannot be terminated due to that leave.
Moreover, an employee with a disability during professional rehabilitation is entitled to salary compensation in the amount of 100% of the average salary earned in the previous three months before joining this program, and the salary compensation cannot be less than the minimum wage. They are also entitled to financial compensation for the duration of the program, for transportation costs for them and their caregiver, if they have one, in the amount of the non-taxable amount, in accordance with the law, or in the amount of 20% of the minimum wage per month provided that this program lasts at least 100 hours and if a person with a disability is not a beneficiary of another disability benefit.
Obligation To Employ Persons With Disabilities
As an employer who has between 20 and 49 employees, you will have to employ one person with a disability. For 50 and more employees, you are obliged to have at least two persons with disabilities. At the beginning of every next 50 employees, you must employ one more person with a disability. Newly established employers are exempt from this, and they will not have to employ a person with a disability during the first 24 months following the establishment of their company.
If you do not employ persons with disabilities, you will be legally obliged to pay the amount of 50% of a current average salary in Serbia per employee you did not employ. On the other hand, if you decide to employ a person with a disability who is employable under special conditions, you can be entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of adjusting the workplace for the employment of that person.
Finally, if you employ for an indefinite period a person without previous work experience, you will become eligible for wage subsidies for that person for 12 months in the amount of up to 75% of total wage expenses including social security insurance contributions, but not more than a minimum wage determined in accordance with labor regulations.
The Law on professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities provides for a fine of 200,000 to one million dinars in the event that the employer does not hire a person with a disability, or from 10,000 to 50,000 dinars for the responsible person in the legal entity, and fines ranging from 5000 to 400,000 for entrepreneurs who do not obey this law.
These are just some of the most important items that we have singled out from the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Serbia.
In case you need more help with employing people with disabilities in your company – feel free to contact Zaštita Beograd experts at any time.