The EU and EFTA_EEA consider participation in society as a fundamental right for all citizens. People with disabilities do face barriers in their daily lives, which impede their full participation. In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, disability is considered a matter of rights and law. The EU disability strategy 2010-2020 aims at eliminating barriers, preventing discrimination and empowering people with disabilities to enjoy fully their rights and participation in society on equal terms with others.
The present study on Supported Employment for people with disabilities in the EU and EFTA-EEA has been initiated to enhance further the possibilities of people with disabilities to participate on the open labour market. COWI and its partners, Work Research Institute, Norway and the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) were tasked with mapping the use of Supported Employment in 30 countries; undertaking an in-depth study of six selected countries on the look for policy recommendations; and producing a compendium of good practices. In addition, a directory of supporting services (an address book) was produced. The findings and recommendations were validated at an expert meeting.
For this study, Supported Employment is defined as a scheme that supports people with disabilities or other disadvantaged groups in obtaining and maintaining paid employment in the open labour market. Supportive measures must include assistance to the employee before, during, and after obtaining a job as well as support to the employer. Key to this is the job coach function.
The perspective of Supported Employment is the focus on people's abilities rather than disabilities. The emphasis is on employment and not on activation or subsistence.
Flexicurity is a strategy that attempts synchronically and in a deliberate manner to enhance the flexibility of labour markets, work organisations and labour relations, on the one hand, and to enhance security notably for weaker groups outside the labour market, on the other hand. Flexicurity can support transitions in and out of the labour market and thus be instrumental for Supported Employment. Flexicurity in interaction with Supported Employment