Changes in the law regarding people with disabilities
Opportunities for voluntary representatives of disabled persons in companies and agencies are being gradually improved with the Federal Act on the Integration of People with Disabilities [Bundesteilhabegesetz] as from 30/12/2016. The threshold for disabled employees’ representatives to be released from their duty to work was reduced from 200 disabled persons in the company to 100. Employers will in future also bear the costs of office staff for the disabled employees’ representative to the extent required.
Terminating the services of a disabled person, without the participation of the disabled employees’ representative, will be invalid in the future. Employers should therefore not only rely on the participation of the disabled employees’ representative through the Integration Office when terminating the services of disabled employees, but hold a hearing in accordance with the provisions for works councils (Section 102 BetrVG [German Works Constitutions Act]) prior to giving notice.
Practical tip: In companies that do not have a disabled person’s representative, this participation right will be carried out by the overall or group disabled employees’ representative.