I. Guidelines and General Principles
“the second Italian NAP-BHR intends to strengthen the application of the UNGPs through a series of complementary measures, referring in particular to the following guidelines:
– the commitment to update and improve collective action in relation to multiple human rights issues from the perspective of protecting the ‘most vulnerable’ (women and girls, minors, persons with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ persons, migrants and asylum seekers, persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, the elderly), with the aim to empower their role and involvement as right-holders, where individual aspects related to business activities may have a significant impact on these categories from a labour and economic point of view.” (p. 7)
c) National Priorities
“the following national priorities of the second National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights are formulated:
5. Strengthening of measures to prevent and combat all forms of exploitation in the labour sector, both public and private, infering vulnerable groups as victims, with particular reference to women, minors, persons with disabilities and lgbtiq+ people” (p. 11)
IV. Italian ongoing activities and future commitments
Vulnerable groups: persons with disabilities
“Within the Italian legal system, Law No. 68/1999 is the main national legislation aimed at promoting the insertion and labour integration of persons with disabilities into the labour sector through supporting services for targeted placement.
For data collection and monitoring, pursuant to Art. 21 of the aforementioned Law, the Minister of Labour and Social Policies submits to the Parliament every two years a report on the state of implementation of Law No. 68/1999, based on regional data. In fact, Regions and Autonomous Provinces are entrusted with the operational management of services for the integration of persons with disabilities, while the coordination of management is charged by the National Agency for Active Labour Policies (ANPAL).
In the 9th Report to Parliament on the state of implementation of Law No. 68/1999, covering the three-year period 2016-2018 and carried out in collaboration with the National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies (INAPP), data relating to the performance of the labour market of persons with disabilities are provided. The Report shows an employment growth throughout the national territory, accompanied by still diffused infrastructural gaps, but governance systems able to achieve good results when approaching the problem through models of integration of services and financial resources.
Persons with disabilities placed in the labour market with public and private employers reported in 2016 were 28,412; they became 34,613 in 2017 and 39,229 in 2018. The private sector absorbs 96% of the total in the full three-year period. These numbers testify the engagement of the system, also considering the simplification of processes introduced: Legislative Decree No. 151/2015, which requires private employers, who employ 15 to 35 employees, to hire a worker with disability. This obligation came into force in 2018, while previously it arose only in the case of new hires.
Among the tasks of the National Observatory the preparation of the two-year Action Programme for the promotion of the rights and integration of persons with disabilities is foreseen.
On July 10, 2019, the “Document of Proposals for the Activities of the National Observatory on the Condition of Persons with Disabilities” was published, prepared by the Scientific Technical Committee and divided into 9 thematic areas and 13 working groups. The main objectives are:
– establish an effective coordination mechanism among all ministries and public agencies that allows for the application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in all areas of governmental competence;
– select a number of actions, within the second two-year action programme for the promotion of the rights and integration of people with disabilities, to be reasonably achievable during the period of the Centre’s activity;
– coordinate the implementation of the second two-year programme, the Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the contents of the Disability Code, on the basis of commitment contained in the PNRR, by initiating a number of actions for the effective implementation of the aforementioned United Nations Convention.
About relevant government policies to improve the participation of persons with disabilities in the workforce, it should be noted that Legislative Decree No. 151/2015 introduced some provisions aimed at rationalizing and revising the procedures and fulfilments of targeted insertion of persons referred to Law No. 68/1999 and other subjects entitled to compulsory placement, in order to promote social inclusion, placing and integration into the labour market and taking care of skills of persons with disabilities. In particular, the adoption of specific guidelines on the targeted placement of persons with disabilities envisages to promote:
– an integrated network among social, health, educational and training services on the territory, as well as with INAIL for the accompaniment and support of the person with disabilities taken in charge;
– territorial agreements with trade unions of workers and employers that are more representative on a national level, social cooperatives referred to in Law No. 381/1991, associations of persons with disabilities and their families, as well as with other third sector organizations;
– bio-psycho-social assessment of the condition of disability;
– job analysis and reasonable accommodation;
– the creation of the role of the responsible for job placement;
– good practices of job inclusion.
Among the Italian national policies aimed at promoting the employment of persons with more severe disabilities, there are incentives for employers who hire workers with disabilities, financed through the Fund for the right to work of the persons with disabilities, established by Art. 13, paragraph 4, of Law No. 68/1999, at the Ministry of Labour. Employers are granted an incentive in relation to taxable gross salary for social security purposes, which varies according to the degree and type of working capacity reduction of the hired person. The duration of the contributory benefit also varies according to the characteristics of the hired worker and the type of employment relationship.
In particular, for employers who hire persons with disabilities for an indefinite employment contract there are incentives for 36 months for the recruitment of workers with a reduction in working capacity from 67% (the incentive is equal to 35% of the gross monthly salary); the incentive rises to 70% for the hiring of persons with a reduction in working capacity of more than 79%. The incentives are also provided (in the amount of 70% of the gross monthly salary) for a longer period of time (60 months), for the recruitment of workers with intellectual and mental disabilities. These workers are also encouraged to have fixed-term hiring of not less than twelve months.” (p. 26)
The principle of Diversity management in the business context
“With reference to the need to draw attention to impacts of business activity on family life and children’s rights, the Department for Family Policies published the new public call “#Conciliamo”, amounting to € 74 million, on 8 November 2019 for family-work reconciliation projects by companies, networks and groups of associated or controlled companies. Available funds will be used for interventions that promote a welfare tailored to families and to improve the quality of life of working mothers and fathers. The call has several specific objectives: the demographic revival, increase in female employment, rebalancing of workloads between men and women, support for families with relatives with disabilities, health protection, combating the abandonment of the elderly.”
ANNEX 1 – Accountability Grid and Assessment Tools for the Implementation of the NAP
“7. Fully implement the provisions contained in the new legislation on Development Cooperation, with particular focus on the relationship between for-profit and not-for-profit actors and promote the widest knowledge among companies of the Guidelines on Childhood and Adolescence, the Cooperation Guidelines on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Girls and Children (2020-2024) and the Guidelines on Disability and Social Inclusion in Cooperation Interventions.” (p. 62)
“8. Continue to implement the provisions contained in the Second Disability Action Programme, with particular reference to line 5 “Labour and Employment” and to provisions concerning the definition of support measures and a system of incentives for first and second level bargaining over flexibility, part-time work and work-life balance for persons with disabilities or serious and chronic progressive illnesses or caregivers of persons with serious disabilities.” (p. 62)
“9. Promote the employment inclusion of persons with disabilities with attention to persons with disabilities with more severe disabling conditions.” (p. 62)
“10. Consolidate respect for the fundamental rights of people with disabilities in line with international conventional standards in relation to access to and quality of hospital care through the promotion and dissemination of the “Charter of Rights of People with Disabilities in Hospital” created by the Coop. Sociale Onlus Spes contra Spem in 2010.” (p. 62)
“42. Preparation – by and/or in collaboration with the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights – of spaces and activities for awareness raising and training on human rights and business (with particular attention to the so-called vulnerable categories (women, minors, persons with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ persons, minorities, migrants, etc.) designed as tools for support to businesses and public officials. These tools may consist in the preparation of governmental webpages to host dedicated information material, as well as in the development of campaigns, surveys, e-learning modules and ad hoc seminars. The latter will be defined in relation to specific competences and activities of each Ministry, as well as in constant dialogue with local authorities and all stakeholders who wish to take part in these initiatives” (p. 67)