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Hungarian equality body criticizes legal barriers to the employment of persons with disabilities

August 29th 2012
In the Hungarian legal system there is no single definition for "person with disabilities". Job centres use a broader notion of persons with reduced work capacity, a notion which includes both persons suffering from health problems and persons with disabilities. The support scheme does not provide incentives for employers to employ persons with disabilities. Máté Szabó, Hungarian Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has inquired into the domestic regulation and the employment opportunities of persons with disabilities.


In his labour law project entitled "Dignity of Work", the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has found that although there are positive changes in different rules of law, persons with disabilities are still disproportionately excluded from the labour market.

On the basis of information received from organisations of employers employing persons with reduced work capacity, the Commissioner has established that in the Hungarian legal system there is no single definition for "person with disabilities"; job centres use a broader notion of persons with reduced work capacity, a notion which includes both persons suffering from health problems and persons with disabilities. Almost all the job centres have reported that only a few persons with disabilities visit them, probably because they anticipate the difficulties of finding their way in proceedings or in offices; they have more confidence in civil society organisations, which have already succeeded in reintegrating into the world of work several hundred people with disabilities. The Ombudsman has argued that closer cooperation between civil society organisations and job centres could increase effectiveness in this field.

The operation of the tendering system aimed at improving the employment situation of persons with disabilities is unpredictable and chaotic in its present form, so it does not allow the elaboration and implementation of long term strategies for the promotion of employment. An additional obstacle is the inefficient support scheme and the fact that the excessively complicated procedures do not provide incentives for employers to employ persons with disabilities. For young people with disabilities who can be integrated into vocational training one should ensure coordination of training, rehabilitation and employment.

In the light of the above the Ombudsman has established that in the legal environment in force at the time of the inquiry, the right of persons with disabilities to human dignity and to the free choice of jobs was infringed, persons with disabilities did not receive the protection declared in the Fundamental Law and the requirements of equal treatment and of legal certainty were not respected.

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has forwarded his findings and proposals to the Hungarian Minister for National Economy.