Key findings, conclusions and recommendations from the Conference on employment of persons with disabilities

Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro has organized the Conference on topic: Employment of persons with disabilities, in PR Centre on Friday 8th of May 2015 in scope of the project Changing Capacities to Capacitate Changes supported by EU Delegation in Montenegro through IPA – Montenegro 2013 Civil Society Facility Program.
In introduction part of the Conference, speakers were: State Secretary for EU integration and Chief Negotiator, Ambassador Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, president of the Committee of the Parliament for EU integration Slaven Radunović, general Director of the Directorate for labour market and employment in Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Edina Dešić-Perazić, Human rights and freedoms protector Šućko Baković and Head of Political Section in EU Delegation in Montenegro Alberto Cammarata.
After introduction, special panel discussion “Employment of persons with disabilities from law to practice” was held. Speakers were: Director of Employment Agency of Montenegro Vukica Jelić, representative of Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Milica Ćurčić, and representatives of partners organization Goran Macanović (Union of Blind of Montenegro) and Brede Kristensen (transFORMA, Netherlands).

In addition are recommendations for state institutions and bodies, but primarily for Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Finance and Employment Agency of Montenegro.

Recommendations and conclusions:

During changes and amendments to of the Law on professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities:

– Fond for professional rehabilitation and employment to be established as autonomous legal body with public authorizations;
– to define management structure of the Fund in a way that persons with disabilities will represent minimum 40% of the management structure of the Fund;
– to increase possibilities for use of funds in a way that additional education and programs for empowerment and specialization of persons with disabilities will be organized and which are directly linked with employment in accordance with interests of PWD, based on personal choice with aim of easier finding of the employment;
– to define that PWD which do not need special additional trainings, rehabilitation and qualifications (especially PWD which will be employed on working positions in accordance with their qualification and profession) will not be included in all measures of professional rehabilitation (primarily measures 1 and 2, and if it is determined unnecessary nor measures 3 and 4), but only those measures which will contribute to better working conditions for PWD ( equipment of working space, assistant in work etc…), based on Employer’s estimation and choices of PWD;
– to define engagement of assistant in work according to standard labour contract, so that these assistants will have full employment status;
– to increase amount for wages for assistants in work, so that minimum wage should be 70% of average salary in Montenegro in previous year for full time work;
– to prescribe reimbursements for employers for organizing transport for PWD (in case that they did not realize that right in another way, according to Law)
– to add architectural adjustment (accessibility) to existing measures related to adjustment of working space and condition – reasonable adaptation;;
– to prescribe that in exceptional situation were process of professional rehabilitation takes more than one month, financing of 100% cost of the employee salary will be ensured from the Fund;
– to ensure implementation of the Law in all public institutions which are defined as Employer (in terms of employment, use of subventions and payment of special contribution);

In process of the implementation of the Law it is necessary to:
– announce Grant schemes and implement assessment process of the projects and adoption of Decisions including signing the contract with grant beneficiaries, during 4th quarter of this year the latest, and for all future years to announce call for proposals in second quarter;
– to publish ranked list and summaries of the projects including the budget, with Decision of the Committee for financing of grant schemes;
– to monitor realization of the projects financed under grant scheme and based on results to perform future processes of decision making of the Committee;
– to define as one of the criteria for ranking of project proposals percentage of success of realization of projects previously supported with grant schemes, based on results of the monitoring of these projects;
– to disable all organization to apply for grant schemes for period of 4 years (in line with EU practice) in cases where it is determined that those organizations has used founds inappropriately and to demand return of the funds;
– Employers are not stimulated for employment of PWD because during process of implementation of professional rehabilitation their working process and working results suffers, therefore it is necessary to simplify procedures and to decrease duration of the procedure of the assessment and professional rehabilitation;
– during next announcement of call under grant schemes to give advantage and to defined organizations of PWD as priority grant beneficiaries ( principle of affirmative action);
– to increase monitoring on implementation of the Law and to conduct penalties for employers who do not pay special contribution according to Article 43 of the Law;
– to perform and to increase monitoring on contractors of professional rehabilitation and employment during that process;
– to consult organizations of PWD and in cooperation with them to organize Employment Fair for PWD;

Associates and donors