The principles of Social Firms Europe CEFEC state that all countries should be encouraged to recognize the right to work for people with severe disadvantages and it is the duty of the state to find the additional resources which will make this possible.

The Right To Work For People With Severe Disadvantages

In this Charter we demand the right to work for people marginalized by mental health issues, other disabilities and other severe disadvantages. This includes both the opportunity to participate in the social process of work and to be fully economically active. Work is fundamental to society and therefore the opportunity to work is an essential pre-requisite to full membership of society.

Accepting the right to work is not the same as constructing an obligation to work. The person with disabilities or other severe disadvantages should have the right to determine the degree to which they participate in the working world, and information about the choices should be available.

Where an individual chooses to take up employment, remuneration should be at a level appropriate to the job with the possibility of receiving a full living wage of that country.

It is the duty of society to establish conditions and provide work opportunities, which will enable each individual to find work.

People with disabilities and other severe disadvantages should have the same right to good working conditions as anyone else and should benefit as prevailing standards are improved across Europe. Therefore the right to work must not be restricted by substandard conditions of work.

Working conditions should include:

  • Long term employment secured by work contracts;
  • Establishing and maintaining high standards in the quality of the working environment and in the methods of production;
  • The initiation of equal opportunities policies in all aspects of the work including full access to the work place for all people.

Vocational rehabilitation must be provided and not be limited to training for one specific job. Account must be taken of the need for personal development and for the encouragement of individual talents and aptitudes.

The state should ensure that anyone with disabilities should be able to move from the unpaid occupation of a person undergoing rehabilitation to paid employment. Whilst this process should not be made artificially long, allowance should be made for gradual progress where necessary and for relapse without penalty.