What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
In 2009, the number of firms employing over 20 employees (i.e. that were obliged to employ disabled people, alternatively utilize an option of alternative compensation) was 22 288. Number of people employed in these firms was 1 341 525. Out of it, the total number of employees with 1st degree disabilities was 20 639, and with 2nd degree disabilities was 3781. For the above mentioned firms have a legal obligation to employ 3.2% of disable people in their total staff, which represents 42 929 people. In fact, these firms employ 24 420 people with disabilities. However, their obligation is to employ 18 509 disabled people more.
In the case that a firm does not employ people with disabilities in the mandatory numbers, the firm must pay compulsory contribution of EUR 773.40 per each person with disability not employed. Since the total number of people with disabilities who are not employed at such firms reached 18 509, the firms were obliged to pay EUR 14,315,199.49. There is, however, the third alternative, which is to use alternative compensation, i.e. to buy products or services of sheltered workshops. It is an equal alternative, by which they can fulfil the obligation towards the state, while it is more forthright, and more convenient for the companies. In this way the companies are able to get as a counter value, in the amount of compulsory contributions to the state, the products and services provided by sheltered workshops, thus directly by the disabled people. Based on the above-mentioned calculations, the potential for sheltered workshops to get new orders is worth EUR 12 717 795.25.
Government is not interested in informing about that, because compulsory contributions account for a relatively large part of money transferred to the Treasury. Therefore, sheltered workshops are the only group, which should disseminate this important information. However, they do not have sufficient funds to do that.
Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.
Elena Kopcová, PhD. is an university teacher of Psychology and Social Work at Commenius University in Bratislava. Except this, she is a leader of WELLNEA sheltered workshop with 6 disabled people. She was a volunteer in the first sheltered workshop TYR CENTRUM in Orava, Slovakia, which leader Eva Mydlikova was awarded by Ashoka in 90ties. She visited most of social projects in Europe interested in employment of disabled people and she make a social psychological research in quality of life and work of unemployeed people, from which disabled people are one of the risk group.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Through another organization or company
If through another source, please provide the information
Marta Ricci from NESsT Citi, Prag