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What Obligations for companies with regard to disability?

They are collected in Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013 , of 29 November, approving the Consolidated Text of the General Law on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

At least 2% of the workforce in public and private companies with 50 or more workers must have a disability.

It is calculated on the total workforce of a company even when it has several work centres, and the type of employment contract is not relevant. If you want to find out more about who has the right to have their level of disability recognised and how to request it.

In exceptional circumstances, companies may be totally or partially exempt if they apply alternative measures.

The Certificate of Exceptionality is a resolution of the Public Employment Service through which a company is temporarily exempt from complying with the 2% workforce rate with a disability and it authorises the application of alternativemeasures. For it to be granted, the company must meet the following requirements

  • That for productive, organisational, technical or economic reasons, there is a particular difficulty for taking on workers with a disability.
  • Or that the Public Employment Services cannot meet the demand due to the lack of interest or non-acceptance of conditions by the disabled person.

The Certificate of Exceptionality does not exempt the company from complying with the Law, as it obliges the company to adopt some regulated alternative measures according to Royal Decree 364/2005:

  1. Commercial or civil contract with a Special Employment Centre for purchasing goods and services for the company's operations.
  2. Commercial or civil contract with a self-employed worker with a disability for the provision of external services and accessories to the activity.
  3. Donation or action of financial sponsorship to a company or foundation whose corporate objective is vocational training, labour market integration or the creation of employment for people with diversity, among others.
  4. The constitution of a labour enclave through the signing of an agreement with a Special Employment Centre.

The Public Employment Service gives a response regarding the Certificate of Exceptionality within 2 months of the Application, and if there has been no resolution by that date, it is considered to have been accepted due to the administrative silence.

The statement of exceptionality will be valid for 3 years, and once this term has ended, it is possible to request a new statement if the reasons persist.

The term to formalise and initiate the alternative measures is 3 months as from the resolution notification and these measures should be executed during the period of validity of the Certificate of Exceptionality notwithstanding that they have to be allocated for this purpose at least once a year.

Despite using alternative measures, these companies should try to contract people with disabilities to reach 2% of its staff during the period of validity of the Certificate. If they have not reached 2% by the end of the 3 years of validity of the Certificate, they will have to apply for the Certificate of Exceptionality again.

In the event of failure to comply with the law, the Autonomous Communities have a sanctions regime in place, with sanctions ranging from mild to very serious, from €301 to €1,000,000, which may include a ban on entering into contracts with the administration.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​