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Hiring people with disabilities in Spain

Hiring people with disabilities in Spain

The hiring of people with disabilities continues to be a pending issue in Spain. Despite the efforts and measures taken by the government and different organizations, there is still a significant gap in the labour inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market.

Data on the unemployment of people with disabilities in Spain

In Spain, the employment rate of people with disabilities is much lower than that of people without disabilities, and those who have a job often face barriers to accessing and maintaining employment. In addition, many employers still hold prejudices and stereotypes about the ability of people with disabilities to perform a job effectively, which makes it difficult to recruit people with disabilities and integrate them into the labour market.

  • In 2021, according to data from, there were 1,929,400 people with disabilities of working age in Spain (between 16 and 64 years).
  • The unemployment rate among people with disabilities was 22.5%, while the employment rate was 26.9%.
  • The low participation of this population in the labour market was reflected in their activity rate, which in 2021 increased by 0.3 points and stood at 34.6%.
  • In 2020, the average annual gross salary of workers with disabilities was 20,799.3 euros, 17.8% less than that of people without disabilities.
  • This gap widened in the case of men with disabilities, whose remuneration was 21% lower than that of those without disabilities. Women with disabilities earned 14.7% less than those without disabilities.
  • When considering the type of disability, in 2020 people with physical disabilities received the highest remuneration, followed by those with sensory disabilities.
  • In 2018, a new record of contracts for workers with disabilities was reached, 116,873, 6% more than the previous year. Most of the contracts, 71% of them, were signed in the protected area.
  • In the last decade, it has increased from 55,714 contracts in 2008 to 116,700 in 2018. Although there has been progress in hiring, the Adecco Foundation warns that most of these contracts were in Special Employment Centres, instead of ordinary companies. 71% of the contracts signed by people with disabilities are companies with protected areas.

tasa de paro de las personas con discapacidad y sin discapacidad

Benefits of hiring people with disabilities

Access to employment is crucial for the economic independence and well-being of people with disabilities. The hiring of people with disabilities is not only a matter of rights and social justice, but also has a positive impact on companies and the economy in general. The labour inclusion of people with disabilities can improve diversity and innovation in the workplace, and can also increase the productivity and profitability of companies.

To address this pending issue, it is necessary to take concrete measures and adopt policies that encourage the hiring of people with disabilities. This includes promoting accessibility in the workplace, removing barriers to access employment and raising awareness of the capabilities of people with disabilities. For this reason, the Government has redesigned the system of incentives for hiring to try to improve and promote quality employment.


Redesign of the incentive system for hiring people with disabilities

The Council of Ministers has approved a system of incentives for labour hiring that seeks to improve the quality of employment, encourage net creation and its maintenance, and promote the hiring of unemployed people with low employability potential. One of the priority objectives of this system is to encourage the hiring of people with disabilities, especially those with greater difficulties. In addition, the new system maintains bonuses for people with disabilities, and victims of gender violence or sexual violence. With this initiative, the government seeks to promote labour inclusion and improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable people in the labour market.


  • Bonus for indefinite hiring of young people with low qualifications: €275/3 years.
  • Transformation of temporary contracts: €55/month, €73/month for women.
  • Incorporation as a member in the cooperative or labour society of people who carry out practical training in companies: €138/month for 3 years or during the term of the contract if it is a person with a disability.
  • Priority to full-time hiring.
  • The reinstatement of workers who have been terminated due to total or absolute permanent disability to improve their employability is discounted. As well as hiring people in a situation of long-term social exclusion.
  • These bonuses are extended to people over 55 years of age, with a permanent or recovered disability, and to permanent contracts.
  • The discount provided for indefinite hiring of people in social exclusion is increased from €55/month to €128/month.
  • In addition, bonuses aim to transform training contracts into indefinite ones.
  • Long-term unemployed people are entitled to a higher bonus if they are women or over 45 years of age, from €110/month to €128/month.
  • The alternating training contracts receive bonus amounts equivalent to 75% of the company fees and 100% depending on the size of the company.


What can companies do to promote the hiring of people with disabilities?

Organizations must also work to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the education and training they need to prepare for the labour market. In addition, it is important that the hiring of people with disabilities is encouraged in all sectors and levels, including leadership and senior management positions.

Businesses also have a crucial role to play in recruiting people with disabilities. They must take concrete steps to ensure that their hiring practices are inclusive and free of barriers, and they must sensitize their employees about the importance of labour inclusion. Offer specific hiring programs for people with disabilities, which will help promote a culture of diversity and respect in the workplace.