The obligation to hire disabled workers
Newsletter - October 2015
Companies affected by the obligation to hire disabled workers are required to fulfil their obligations by 31 December. This means that not many months remain to comply with the applicable legal provisions.
The companies affected
All companies that employ at least 20 employees are subject to the obligation to hire disabled workers. The level of staffing that determines inclusion in the obligation to employ shall be assessed on 31 December, i.e., on 31 December 2015 for the obligation pertaining to 2015. For companies with multiple sites, the staffing level and the obligation to employ is assessed per site.
New companies with at least 20 employees and those that reach this threshold due to an increase in their staff shall have three (3) years to become compliant with the obligation to employ.
The employer is required to hire disabled persons in a proportion that is set at 6% of the site’s employee staffing level. The number must then be rounded down to the next whole number.
The employer may:
– hire disabled employees,
– host disabled work-experience students,
– host disabled persons for an immersion or observation period,
– sub-contract certain jobs to the adapted or protected workers sector or to independent disabled workers,
– apply an agreement that specifies implementation of an action programme in favour of the disabled,
– pay an annual contribution to the AGEFIPH (the association managing the fund for the hiring of disabled persons).
Sub-contracting arrangements may represent no more than one half of the obligation.
Calculating the employees
To calculate the number of beneficiaries of the obligation to employ, each beneficiary is considered according to his/her proportion of presence in the company, during 2015, regardless of his/her type of employment agreement (permanent, fixed-term, or temporary).
Beneficiaries whose working hours come to greater than or equal half of the working hours provided by law or by collective bargaining agreement are counted as though they were employed full-time, and thus represent one unit.
Conversely, beneficiaries whose working hours is below half of the working hours provided by law or by collective bargaining agreement represent only one half unit.
The contribution to AGEFIPH
The employer is able to fulfil its obligations by paying a contribution directly to AGEFIPH by 1 March 2016 at the latest. This amount must be equal:
– to the number of missing beneficiaries, minus any offsetting factors that apply in consideration of the efforts made by the employer to maintain in employment or to directly recruit disabled persons.
– multiplied (as relevant) by the offsetting factor in consideration of the jobs that required special aptitude conditions (”Ecap”) occupied by the site’s employees,
– multiplied by the defined SMIC (minimum wage) figures,
For those sites where the percentage of employees occupying an Ecap does not reach 80%, the contribution amount is fixed at 400 times the hourly SMIC (500 times for those with 200 – 749 employees, 600 times for those with 750 employees and more) per missing beneficiary (i.e., for a company with 20 employees in this situation, a contribution of €3,844).
For those sites that have not made any effort in favour of employing disabled workers, the contribution amount is fixed at one thousand five hundred (1,500) times the hourly SMIC per missing beneficiary (i.e., for a company with 20 employees in this situation, a contribution of €14,415).
Reporting requirements and penalties
Sites that are subject to the obligation to employ must each year make a “mandatory annual employment reporting of disabled workers, wounded war veterans and similar.” This reporting must be filed by 1 March 2016 at the latest.
Any employer that does not supply the reporting or that does not fulfil its obligations becomes liable for a fine that may be as high as 1,875 times the hourly SMIC per non-employed beneficiary (i.e., €18,018.75).
We are entirely available if you have any further queries about the issues discussed in this newsletter or about any other accounting, tax, social security or law related topic.