‘Helping people with disabilities get a job more difficult because of corona’

The coronacrisis makes it more difficult to create jobs for people with disabilities. The aim of creating some 125,000 jobs in companies and government in five years time is further out of sight. That says Aart van der Gaag, commissioner of the project 125,000 jobs.

โ€œ The momentum is out now. Until the beginning of this year, we were well on track. I still have the hope that we will get the 125,000, but the longer corona lasts, the harder it gets,โ€ he says this morning in the CCEIT Radio 1 News. โ€œThen we wont make 2026, and itll be a few years later.โ€

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the number of jobs for people with disabilities has been decreasing, rather than creating jobs. Halfway through this year, according to the UWV benefit agency, the counter stood at more than 58,000 jobs. It is planned that there should be 67,500 new jobs this year.

โ€œ Frankly, the negative effect of corona is still hard for me,โ€ says Van der Gaag, who expected more redundancies. โ€œFrom companies in the hospitality industry or a museum that is now closed, you simply cannot expect them to hire people now. Theyre already having a hard time.โ€

Government is on course

Governments are still continuing to hire people with disabilities. In recent years, the government was lagging behind the job deal.

The Tax Administration already has 600 people with disabilities at work. Rowรฉ Hoogendoorn of the Tax Administration: โ€œThey do all kinds of work, from tax analyst at the Fiod to cleaner. Especially this year, we focus on administrative staff.โ€

At a distance, the new people are being worked in by coaches. One of those new employees is Nadisa Gambier from Amsterdam: โ€œIm going to check income taxes soon. Currently, Im online with my coach to gain tax knowledge about health deductions, tax credits, that kind of business. Very interesting. I can still see a career with the Tax Administration.โ€

Nadisa had health problems and was therefore eligible for this job.

Plea for Social Workshop 2.0

Moreover, the figures on the number of jobs that have been added by the trade organisation of social working companies, Cedris, are disputed. According to the organization, the figures also include people who were already working through other constructions.

Apart from the discussion about the figures, Cedris also sees that the purpose of the job deal is further disappearing from the picture. โ€œIts a difficult period for the job deal,โ€ says a spokesman for Cedris. โ€œWe see that public support measures help keep many employees employed, but employers are hardly willing or able to hire new people.โ€

The House of Representatives today talks about the budget for Social Affairs. SP and CDA will argue for a kind of Social Workshop 2.0 for people with disabilities. This is because the job agreement of 125,000 jobs does not work adequately. Whether there is a majority of parliament in favour of the plan to revive the social workshops is still unclear.