The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans’ Rights approved the text of the comparative table to the draft law on amendments to certain laws of Ukraine on ensuring the right of persons with disabilities to work under reg. No. 5344-d and recommended that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopt the draft law in the second reading and as a whole.

The adoption of the draft law will lead to a significant increase in opportunities for persons with disabilities in the labor market. The adoption of the Law will expand the opportunity for the relevant category of persons to be employed not only at private enterprises, but also in public authorities and local governments. “The draft law improves the employment situation, creates prerequisites for expanding inclusion and barrier-free access, namely through the employment of persons with disabilities in state and local government bodies,” says Serhii Gryvko, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Protection and Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities and Regulation of Activities of Their Enterprises and Public Associations of the Committee, who chaired 17 meetings of the working group on finalizing the draft law under reg. No. 5344-d for the second reading, which was formed in the Committee.

The draft law provides for compensation to employers for the costs of arranging “smart” workplaces for persons with disabilities, as well as providing persons with disabilities in the workplace (if necessary) with social support, personal assistants, sign language interpretation, etc.

At the same time, the draft law provides for a choice for employers: either to employ persons with disabilities by providing them (if necessary) with a proper workplace (1 workplace for employers with 8 to 25 employees; 2% of workplaces for employers whose main activity is the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, training of such persons or care for them; 4% of workplaces for employers with more than 25 employees) or to pay a targeted contribution to support the employment of persons with disabilities to the Social Protection Fund.

The accumulated funds of both private and public sector employers will be targeted to ensure the implementation of active employment programs; employment support measures; provision of social services for the employment of persons with disabilities and other programs and measures aimed at their social protection in the manner and under the conditions determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

An important role in the implementation of the policy of inclusion and adaptation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society is played by public associations established by such persons (or in the interests of such persons), human rights organizations, initiators of the creation of hubs for persons with disabilities, and providers of social services to the relevant category of citizens. Each of these associations has the right to equal access to state funding, depending on the importance and relevance of the project they have developed. “This draft law does not remove any of the benefits provided by the Tax Code for enterprises and organizations founded by public associations of people with disabilities. On the contrary, it declares the principle of equality of all public organizations of people with disabilities to receive both tax and any other benefits, including state aid,” said Halyna Tretiakova, the Chair of the Committee.

The development of civil society implies access of every organization, including those representing the interests of persons with disabilities as a result of the war (the number of such NGOs is growing due to russia’s military aggression against Ukraine), to competitive procedures, which guarantees transparent and effective distribution of public funding for the implementation of the best projects and activities.

It should be recalled that the Fund for Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities regularly holds project competitions for public associations, and persons with disabilities participate in the competition commissions to help select the best and most relevant projects.

Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopt a draft law that directly advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities in the labor market and opens up opportunities for all public organizations in the country to act effectively, including with the help of the state, in the interests of persons with disabilities.

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