Quotas for people with disabilities in medium-sized companies

The Law 4/2019 also applied to medium-sized companies with between 75 and 100 employees
Articles 22/02/2024

After a five-year transition period, Law 4/2019 of January 10, establishing an employment quota system for people with disabilities with a degree of incapacity equal to or greater than 60%, will apply to smaller companies from February 2024.

This Law, which covers both the private and public sectors, began to apply only to large and medium-sized companies in February 2023. In the latter’s case, the Law only applies to medium-sized companies with over 100 employees. However, as of February 1, 2024, the Law also applied to medium-sized companies with between 75 and 100 employees: as of this date, these companies were also obliged to comply with the quota of people with disabilities hired in several no less than 1% of the employees in their service. (By comparison, large companies must comply with a quota for hiring people with disabilities of no less than 2% of the employees in their favour.) It should be noted that companies must provide information on the number of disabled employees in their annual Single Report.

There are, however, some exceptions to the application of this Law, namely in the case of employers who reach the category of a large company or medium-sized company with 75 or more employees, either during the transition period (which ended at the beginning of February 2024) or after it has ended, in which case an additional two years will be granted as an adaptation period.

It should be noted that for Law 4/2019, a person with a disability is considered to be one who “due to a congenital or acquired loss or anomaly of bodily functions or structures, including psychological functions, has specific difficulties which, in combination with environmental factors, limit or hinder their activity and participation on an equal basis with others“, covering the areas of cerebral palsy, organic, motor, visual, hearing and intellectual (wording by article 2 of Law 38/2004 of August 18).

In this way, a person who is in any of the circumstances that fall under the description of “disability” but who can carry out the activity they are applying for without functional limitations or, if they do have rules, which can be overcome by adjusting or adapting the workstation and support products, should be considered as a possible candidate to be hired by companies, being covered and protected by the Law in question. When hiring workers whose limitations require the adaptation of the workstation and support products, the employer must turn to the INR, I.P., and the IEFP I.P., responsible for indicating and providing the technical support needed to adapt the worker.

However, even if the requirements above are met, companies may be exempted from this obligation, provided they can prove that the candidates are effectively unable to fill the job and that there are not enough disabled candidates registered with the employment services who meet the requirements to fill the positions. To this end, employers must submit a request to the Authority for Working Conditions, requesting that they be exempted from the applications of the Law in question, and the request must be accompanied by a reasoned opinion issued by INR, I.P. and IEFP, I.P that proves the situations justifying the exceptionality mentioned above.

It should be noted that violation of the obligations arising from this Law constitutes serious or light administrative offences, depending on the seriousness of the case and the administrative offences regime regulated by the Labor Code.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.


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  • Labour