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FRANCE - Discrimination against disabled people

August 6th 2014


On 13 September 2012, the Defender of Rights published on his website a FAQ document of 48 pages. It aims at informing and counselling the intermediaries of employment, the companies and the disabled persons in order to promote the access of disabled persons to employment and to prevent discrimination against them.

Duty bearers targeted, and their specific obligations (if any)

This tool is the result of hearings with the employment stakeholders, members of associations of disabled persons, trade unions’ representatives, occupational physicians, experts etc.

The Law no 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 on equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of people with disabilities provides for a unified legal protection of disabled persons [1].

A similar obligation relating to the annual negotiation concerning gender equality (and senior age) is applicable to disability for companies of more than 50 people or 300 people.

Companies employing more than 20 people shall respect a quota of 6% of disabled people of their total workforce.

The Law no 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 provides for the right to reasonable accommodation issue of the 2000/78 EU Directive.

The Decree no. 2009-1272 of 21 October 2009 requires the accessibility of all disabled people to their workplace in new buildings or in new parts of existing buildings.

Main objective of the project

This tool is the result of a mid-term process. It started with the HALDE decision no. 2010-126 of 14 June 2010 which had already clarified the legal concepts applicable concerning the access to employment of disabled persons within the private sector (available here). It was followed by the creation of work group, coordinated by the Defender of Rights and gathering diverse associations and the National employment agency. The private consultant on disability, Ariane, also actively contributed to this project.


Awareness raising (a FAQ document of 48 pages added now with a brochure). It is a tool which is simple, practical and accessible to a maximum of persons.

Key achievements

This document is used as a reference tool by the employment actors.

Key challenges

  • Technical problems of presentation of this FAQ document because there were too many questions (including accessibility of the document to disabled people); therefore, the document seems a bit dry. The PDF version is appreciated as it can be read as a reference document too.
  • The length of the validation process of a tool decided earlier together with external partners as well as the words chosen in the brochure (e.g. visible disabilities, disabled worker/person etc). The organisation of different meetings including also the associations and the national employment Agency (Pôle Emploi) has been successful to overcome potential difficulties.

[1It reviews former laws such as la loi 75-534 d’orientation du 30 juin 1975 en faveur des personnes handicapées (Vocational guidance, sheltered work, guaranteed income), la loi 87-517, du 10 juillet 1987, en faveur de l’emploi des travailleurs handicapés (Compulsory employment (quota) for private and public sectors) ; la loi 90-602, du 12 juillet 1990, relative à la protection des personnes contre les discriminations en raison de leur état de santé ou de leur handicap (Non discrimination) or la loi 91-663 du 13 juillet 1991, portant diverses mesures destinées diverses mesures destinées à favoriser l’accessibilité aux personnes handicapées (accessibility)