Who are we?
Agefiph has been active in promoting the employment of people with disabilities in France since 1987. Its name is a French acronym standing for “Fund Management Organisation for the Professional Integration of People with Disabilities”. In other words, it is an organisation responsible for managing levies paid by French companies employing at least twenty people, which are required by law to provide employment for people with disabilities.
1. What is our purpose ?
The main purpose of the organisation is to provide access to employment in the private sector for people with disabilities. We have been performing this public service mission for more than 20 years in the framework of an agreement on targets signed with the Government, under the terms of which we operate by way of providing grants and subsidies, but also services offered by a network of service providers that we have handpicked.
Helping people with disabilities and listening to businesses
The aims we have been set include developing expertise in the working disabled population, promoting access to work for them, and bringing the needs of businesses into line with those of people with disabilities. Our work has borne fruit over time, because after some twenty years of activity, Agefiph has helped bring about a ten-fold increase in the hiring of people with disabilities in France.
A field of action covering the whole country
Our policy is determined by a Board consisting of representatives of employers, employees and non-profit organisations. It is implemented throughout the country by our strong local presence on the ground, with a network of more than 2,000 professionals committed to getting people with disabilities into work.
2. What do we do ?
Agefiph functions in several different ways to promote the professional integration of people with disabilities. These fall into two categories: financial aids and services.
Our resources are provided by the levies paid by companies employing 20 people or more which fail to achieve the employment quota of 6% of people with disabilities in their workforce. Our actions consist of utilising these funds to promote the development of employment for disabled people.
We allocate grants and subsidies
Both people with disabilities and businesses are eligible to receive direct financial aids from Agefiph, covering assistance with putting together a career plan, training, compensation measures, business start-ups and takeovers, access to or retention of jobs, etc.
We provide services
Our policies, designed to help people with disabilities to integrate the world of work, are not restricted to financial aids. Over the years, Agefiph has built up a network of approved partners and suppliers enabling it to offer advice along with a wide range of services both to businesses and to people with disabilities.
3. Our organisation
Agefiph acts at local level on the basis of the strategy and policy determined at national level. The organisation’s head office is in the Paris suburbs. It supports the regional branches that are in direct contact both with disabled people and with companies.
Agefiph is organised according to a decentralised model designed to enable strategy- and policy-related decisions taken at head office to be rolled out in a homogenous fashion at local level by our regional branches. The aim is for our operations to be in the greatest possible proximity to the needs of businesses and of disabled people, but also to our institutional partners and local players in the world of professional integration, with a focus on flexible and fast reaction.
Active in the field
In this context, the role played by our 20 regional branches – organised as three territories (the West, the South, the North-East plus Overseas Departments) – is clearly vital. The branches maintain close contact with the managers of social organisations and partners involved in professional integration, and play a key part in defining and implementing local policies for the employment of people with disabilities.
Strategies stemming from head office
To carry out their missions, the regional branches rely upon a central organisation. Agefiph’s policy is determined by a governing board made up of several colleges, including employer and employee representatives, associations for disabled people and outside specialists. At the organisation’s Bagneux headquarters, in the southern suburbs of Paris, its senior managers implement decisions taken by the board, provide it with the technical information it requires to take its decisions and reports back to it on the actions it has undertaken. The Director General of Agefiph is Stéphane Clavé.
4. Our history
Agefiph was founded in 1987 and its role was reinforced in 2005. For more than twenty years it has been a key player in the development of policy for the employment of people with disabilities.
Helping people with disabilities enter the world of work is not a new idea in France. Back in the 1920s, two laws were passed which made it compulsory for employers to give jobs to disabled ex-servicemen. At the end of the Second World War, a new law for the first time introduced a certain quota of disabled workers to be hired by companies with more than ten employees, but with no penalty for those who failed to. Legislation in 1975 established guaranteed resources for people with disabilities and reaffirmed the principle of a right to work.
The 1987 “revolution”
The big change occurred in July 1987, when new legislation obliged all companies in the public and private sectors with a minimum of 20 employees to include at least 6% of people with disabilities in their workforce. In particular, the law stipulated that private-sector businesses failing to respect the quota would be obliged to pay a levy. It was as a result of this legislation that Agefiph was created as the organisation responsible for collecting and managing the fund for the development of professional integration for people with disabilities.
The “disability law”
Following on from the 1987 legislation, further measures came into force in February 2005, covering “the equality of rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of disabled people.” Known as the “disability law”, this legislation established the principle of “compensation”, which puts people with disabilities on an equal footing both on the job market and once they are in work. Compensation can take the form of technical adaptations to workstations (improved access, different machines or tooling, etc.), training, support and flexible working hours. The law also strengthens the employment obligation on companies with over 20 employees and increases the amount of the annual levy payable to Agefiph by employers who fail to respect the 6% disabled quota. The law extends the principle of the levy to public-sector employers and establishes the Fund for the Integration of People with Disabilities in the Civil Service.
5. A few key figures
These statistics help illustrate who Agefiph works with and what it does.
According to INSEE, France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, the French population in 2008 included 2.5 million people with officially recongnized disabilities aged between 15 and 64 who benefit from the right to work (roughly 5 % of this age category). The activity rate for this group was 46 % (compared to 71 % for the entire 15-64 range), the employment rate was 35% (64 %) and the unemployment rate was 22 % (10%). Disabilities break down by type as follows :
- mobility impairment : 48 %
- sensory impairment : 13 %
- intellectual impairment : 7 %
- psychic impairment : 14 %
- other forms of impairment or not specified : 18 %
Of those benefiting from people with disabilities’ right to work who were currently in employment (within companies of 20 and over), 322 300 people had jobs in the private sector, and 175 800 in the civil service. In 2009, there were more than 2730300 jobseekers with disabilities.
In 2010, Agefiph devoted roughly €739 million to developing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
In the same year, it performed 228 200 missions assisting people with disabilities and 119 779 involving businesses.
These missions resulted in the signature of 5 520 apprentice contracts and professional training contracts, the financing of 6 680 operations to ease access to the workplace and the signature of 67 625 hirings of people with disabilities, of whom roughly 60 % were on permanent contracts or fixed-term contracts lasting at least 12 months.
More than 16 000 people were maintained in work through our support. In addition, more than 94 500 people with disabilities benefited from appraisals and training programmes.
Finally, €39 million was devoted to start-ups for 3,200 creators of their own businesses.
In 2010, Agefiph collected approximately €476 million in levies from 46 565 contributing companies. In addition, in 2010, 35 new major companies or groups, representing over 100,000 employees, signed up to agreements with Agefiph facilitating the employment of people with disabilities.
Along with our 300-strong workforce – of whom 70 % work in regional branches – Agefiph benefits from the human resources of our service partners:
- 107 Cap Emploi (98,000 beneficiaries in 2009)
- 108 Sameth
- 97 Alther
Service partners and service providers accounted for roughly 40 % of Agefiph’s funding, the remaining 60 % being utilised for direct grants for people (training, technical equipment, mobility aids, etc.) and subsidies for businesses (for creating and retaining jobs, adapting workstations, etc.).