Some 25 employers could end up in court after refusing to pay the contribution that aims to integrate persons with a disability in the workplace.
Sources within JobsPlus, the State employment agency, said that some 25 “stubborn” employers would be taken to court to pay disability contributions after they had repeatedly failed to do so.
Since 2014, employers who do not abide by the legal quota must contribute €1,600 annually for each disabled person that they do not employ.
The money goes towards the Lino Spiteri Foundation, an integration fund used for the employment and training of persons with a disability.
Those who fail to recruit workers with a disability could face three months in prison
Since the law was introduced, some 24 persons with a disability have been finding a job every month. Previously, there would only be some 100 vacancies for people with a disability every year. To further encourage the employment of persons with disability, such employers are exempt from the relative social security contributions. They can also reclaim 25 per cent of the salary, together with a €125 weekly subsidy for three years.
The contributions are also used to employ job coaches who can help employers and persons with a disability in the workplace. Sources from JobsPlus yesterday said that around 100 employers had not filed their contributions until around a month ago, however the majority had eventually fallen in line after they received correspondence informing them they could face legal action if they did not.
“There are a few, however, who are just refusing to cooperate and at this rate will end up in court,” the sources said, adding that in some cases the amount due was negligible.
The same sources said that in a bid to find an amicable solution the employment office was setting up one-on-one meetings with the defaulting employers.
Meanwhile, the sources were quick to point out that employers who failed to recruit workers with a disability as established by law could face up to three months in prison. Though the tough sanction, contained in the Persons with Disability Act, has never been enforced, the sources said it was at times viewed as the best possible option.
By law, at least two per cent of the workforce in companies having 20 or more people must be listed in a JobsPlus register containing the names of people with a disability.
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