Code of good practice for the employment
of people with disabilities
The purpose of this code of good practice is to provide a clear statement
of the European Institutions policy in relation to the employment of
people with disabilities and to provide guidelines to Directorates General
and Services in this respect
The European Institutions take a positive attitude to disability and
are committed to ensuring that all qualified European citizens should have
an equal opportunity for employment on the basis only of their ability and
suitability for the work.
In the context of employment within the Institutions "people with
"people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments which may
affect their ability either to do a particular job or to function effectively
in a given physical environment".
Generalized assumptions about the capabilities or limitations of people
with disabilities in the workplace are misleading. As with all employees,
disabled people should be treated as individuals, each with their own strengths
It is envisaged that each Institution will appoint an official or
a body to be responsible for the implementation of this Code of Practice.
This official will be guided by the Implementing Measures relating to this
Code of Practice.
The European Institutions have a policy of equality of opportunity
and selection on merit by means of fair and open competitions. For people
with disabilities, all reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that they
are able to participate in competitions on equal terms with other
Press publicity for competitions will include a statement affirming
the Institutions commitment to equality of opportunity for candidates
The Guide for Candidates appearing in the Official Journal with the
Notice of Competition will contain a paragraph specifically aimed at candidates
with disabilities. Mention should be made of the Code of good Practice.
Application forms will request disabled candidates to detail the
facilities they require to enable them to participate in the tests. Every
effort will be made to ensure that they can participate on an equal basis
with other candidates and all reasonable arrangements requested by disabled
candidates will be adopted.
Derogations from age limits will be made for disabled
Training given to members of Selection Boards will include a module
on disability awareness and the contents of this code of good practice. The
possibility to attend this module will be open to staff of all
It is the statutory obligation of the Institutions - and essential
if they are effectively to fulfil their mission - that they not only recruit
officials of the highest standard of ability and efficiency but also ensure
that promotion and career progression depend solely on merit and suitability
for the job. Having passed with success through the same
recruitment procedure as other staff, officials with disabilities have the
right to the same opportunities fully to develop their potential and their
careers within the Institutions. Care will be taken at all stages during
the career of an official with disabilities to ensure the avoidance of job
requirements that, whether intentionally or not, are not job-related and
exclude people with disabilities.
Initial Appointment and Probation The Appointing Authority
will use its best endeavours to ensure that disabled candidates placed on
a competition reserve list will be offered appropriate posts.
The Staff Regulations require that all candidates successful in a
competition undergo a medical examination prior to appointment to ensure
that they are physically fit to perform the duties for which they are being
recruited. Disabled candidates will not be disqualified on the basis of their
disability. Particular attention is required in assigning
staff with disabilities to their initial post and when monitoring their
performance during the probationary period.
Mobility Every effort will be made to ensure that staff
with disabilities have the same opportunities as others to increase their
experience and develop their career by means of mobility within the
Institutions. The career of an official in the European
Institutions is determined primarily by the individuals own ability
and ambition ; it also depends on experience gained in a variety of different
jobs. Whilst it is recognized that some staff with disabilities may not be
able to undertake the duties of all posts within the services of the
Institutions, it is important that their mobility is not disadvantaged by
uninformed assumptions or stereotyping.
Training Staff with disabilities have the same access
to training as other staff. The acquisition of new skills
and knowledge is an important prerequisite for the career development of
all officials ; it can obviously be of particular importance for officials
with disabilities. Every effort will be made to enable staff with disabilities
to participate in training courses and programmes organized by the particular
institution. All reasonable steps will be taken to enable staff with disabilities
to participate in training courses and programmes. Where in-house training
is unavailable or inappropriate, all reasonable steps will be taken to locate
an external provision.
Staff Assessment and Promotion Disability shall not
constitute a reason for assessors and promotion committees to depart form
the normal objective criteria used to judge the merits of officials.
Retention of Staff The Institutions will use their
best efforts to retain in employment those staff members who become disabled
in the course of their careers, and wish to remain in service.
The retention of staff responds to the need to optimise human ressources.
The use of technical support, the reorganization of work and flexible or
part-time working, can enable the Institutions to benefit from the knowledge
and experience of officials who become disabled.
Whilst most staff with disabilities can operate effectively without
requiring modifications to their working environment, special facilities
are required by some. The Institutions will endeavour to ensure that all
reasonable steps are taken to minimize problems which may face some staff
Buildings All new buildings for occupation by employees
of the Institutions will comply with the relevant national legislation in
respect of the access and utilization of public buildings by disabled people.
Unadapted buildings, or buildings falling below a reasonable level in this
respect, will be progressively improved, subject to the availability of budgetary
provision, or abandoned. The Institutions will adopt criteria which govern
the adaptation of their buildings in order to respond to the needs of disabled
persons in the work place. The principles contained in the Commission document
"Immeuble-type" (1992 version) will, for the moment constitute these criteria.
When the new version of this document is approved, the norms and principles
it contains will be immediately applicable The Institutions
will take all reasonable steps to ensure that officials with disabilities
are allocated office accommodation compatible with the needs of their particular
Office equipment and furnishings Officials with
disabilities will be consulted about special equipment or furniture which
might enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of their
duties. The Institutions will accept all reasonable requests for such
INFORMATION AND AWARENESS TRAINING
This Code of good Practice will be distributed to all staff.
Training courses for members of Selection Boards will include disability
awareness training. This will be made available to other staff as
- 1 -
CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR THE
OF DISABLED PEOPLE
Each official or body charged with implementing this Code of Good Practice
will be responsible for matters concerning disabled people and notably the
"census" of disabled persons working in the Institutions
. developing information and awareness of the code
. ensuring the implementation of the training of selection boards
. involving staff with disabilities in the implementation and the
evaluation of the code . monitoring and reviewing
procedures . centralizing information in respect of the careers
of disabled officials . identifying appropriate jobs and
functions . the development of an orientation function
. highlighting successful experiences . outreach
to organisations of people with disabilities . sharing
information with other Institutions
An appropriate statement will be included in all press publicity.
E.g. : "The Commission is an equal opportunities employer
and encourages applications from qualified women and men irrespective of
disability, race, religion or sexual orientation"
DG V will approach the services of the JOCE to ensure that European
organizations representative of people with disabilities receive detail (e.g.
on diskette) of all competitions published in the Official Journal.
The Guide for Candidates appearing in the Official Journal with the
Notice of Competition could include, for example, a suitable succinct summary
of the Institutions policy in respect of the recruitment and the subsequent
career possibilities for people with disabilities.
2 Participation in the tests The Selection Committee
will decide, on a case by case basis, the measures to be adopted. These may
include the following :
- that the tests be held elsewhere than in the main examination hall
the granting of special equipment ;
authorization of the presence of a carer or helper :
allowing extra time to complete the examinations ;
3. Derogations from age limits The measures
concerning derogations from age limits will be harmonized in the competitions
of all Institutions, with the principle envisaged being that for candidates
with disabilities the age limit is raised by five years ; any request for
the age limit to be raised must be accompanied by a certificate issued by
the appropriate authority attesting that its holder is disabled. Requests
for the age limit to be raised will not be considered unless accompanied
by the necessary supporting documents(s). Cumulated derogations
shall not exceed eight years .
The training module on disability awareness will be presented by experts
in the subject.
An individual analysis of the professional profile of those persons
with disabilities figuring on the reserve list of competitions will be made
in order to determine those services for which they are best suited.
The Medical Service should, if possible, indicate in its report those activities
it considers the most appropriate and/or those it affirms as being unsuitable
for individual candidates with disabilities.