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Proposal says firms must hire disabled or pay

Companies could be forced to reserve jobs for disabled persons or face fees, according to new proposals to revise Switzerland’s disability insurance scheme.

On Monday, Travail Suisse, a federation of unions, presented its model for the programme, which would require businesses with ten or more employees to reserve at least 2.5 per cent of the hours worked by their total workforce for those with disabilities.

That means a firm with 200 employees would be required to have five full-time disabled persons on staff or pay a fee proportionate to the size of the business. The money would go back into the disability insurance fund to help create jobs.

A similar but less severe model was approved by the House of Representatives’ social security and health committee on Friday. Under that proposal, companies with more than 250 employees would have to reserve one per cent of their hours for the disabled. A company with 500 employees would be required to have five full-time disabled workers.

Parliament is scheduled to discuss the sixth revision to the insurance scheme during its upcoming winter session. The objective this time is to fold 16,800 disability insurance pensioners back into the workforce. and agencies


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