Last week was quite hectic and exciting for me. In the Dutch media it
was announced that a law is being drafted that allows employers to hire
people with a handicap or a disability for less than the legally
required minimum wage.
Although it is certainly praiseworthy to strive to employ more people with disabilities, the drafting of this law is not good.
On the one hand, because this law could send a signal to “normal” colleagues that they may have taken away their work from colleagues with impaired working conditions or handicap who might work cheaper, which would make a conflict in the workplace quite possible.
Secondly, this law sends the wrong signal that employees with disabilities or impairments are less valuable. In this society, a lot of value is placed on participation in the labour market and unfortunately people who cannot work or “only” work voluntarily and without payment, are wrongly classified as less valuable. This law would underline this social rift.
Now I am absolutely no activist and this is not about personal
awareness, on the contrary, but such a law would hit the core of society
and especially the people who often have to struggle with their
impairment or handicap every day anyway. They deserve at least a
valuable share in society.