The Employment of Disabled Workers in Poland’s Małopolska Province
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Publication date: 2011-02-28
GNPJE 2011;245(1-2):105-118
The author discusses the findings of surveys conducted among businesspeople hiring disabled workers in Poland’s southern Małopolska province. The surveys also examine the attitude of private businesses to companies that employ disabled workers and are thus eligible for “Supported Employment Enterprise” status. According to critics, such companies enjoy tax and organizational privileges that contradict the need for equal treatment of all businesses in the marketplace. The preferential treatment of companies hiring disabled workers—regardless of their professional skills, as long as they are officially classified as disabled—is against the logic of equal opportunities, Michalczyk says. Preferential treatment of one group of businesses means discrimination against other groups. The surveys were carried out using methods including literature studies. The sample of respondents was selected taking into account geographic and business criteria. The surveys testify to the prevalence of a negative perception of “Supported Employment Enterprises” in their role as competitors and business partners on the market, Michalczyk concludes. At the same time, the surveys showed that disabled workers are often hired against economic logic, the author notes. “Supported Employment Enterprises” are in fact subsidized by their competitors, Michalczyk says, which is against the principles of a free market economy and the basic purpose of their existence, which is to help disabled people enter or return to the labor market.
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