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Couchepin moots incentives to integrate disabled into workplace

Pascal Couchepin Keystone

The economics minister, Pascal Couchepin, has said that he cannot rule out the introduction of incentives to boost the employment prospects of handicapped people. However, he said he was against the idea of a quota system.

Couchepin told the annual conference of Pro Infirmis, in Neuchâtel, that companies should be free to decide their own recruitment policies. Pro Infirmis is an umbrella group representing disabled people.

Couchepin said the goodwill of employers should be encouraged through incentives designed to offset the additional costs of hiring handicapped workers.

The minister’s comments were backed by the president of the Swiss employers association, Fritz Blaser. He agreed there should be a more level playing field, but stressed the importance of allowing companies to act freely.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR