Leading the Way? State Employers’ Engagement with a Disability Employment Policy
Keywords:Employment, Wages, Unemployment & Rehabilitation, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity
In the literature on labor market integration, there is growing recognition of the importance of employers. This article aims to contribute to this stream of research by investigating state employers’ engagement with a soft employment quota launched alongside a wider initiative in Norway, named the Inclusion Dugnad. An initial document analysis showed that only 3.1% of state employers fulfill the quota at the early stage. Analysis of 10 state employer interviews revealed that they appeared to be mostly passive and, to some degree, dismissive of the Inclusion Dugnad. They relied on passive measures where disabled job seekers are expected to actively seek out the employer and not the other way around. The main obstacles to achieving employer engagement seemed to be the apparent lack of disabled applicants and the reported conflict between the goals of the Inclusion Dugnad and the cost-cutting and productivity standards governing the state employer sector.
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