To have access to a public contract, companies must adopt measures for disabled workers
Breaching the law that requires reserving job positions for disabled persons not only entails statutory penalties but now may also bar a company from the possibility of opting for a significant public contract.
Since this past March 2018, according to the new wording of the Public Sector Contracts Law, there is a statutory prohibition on entering into contracts with the public authorities and other public bodies and entities for companies that, among other matters, do not evidence that they comply with the requirement to reserve at least 2% of their job positions for disabled persons, or have implemented exceptional alternative measures on the terms established by regulations.
In this regard, it is important to recall that, in accordance with the General Law on the rights of disabled persons and their social inclusion, this obligation to reserve job positions already applies to companies with 50 or more workers. As an exception, companies are exempt from this statutory obligation, in whole or in part, through potential agreements reached in industry-wide collective bargaining at the national level and, failing that, at a lower level, or at the voluntary option of the employer duly notified to the labor authority, provided that, in both cases, the employer applies alternative integration measures that will, in any event, be exceptional and determined by regulations.
Beyond the national legal framework, at European level, it is important to note that the process for recognizing social clauses in public procurement such as the one mentioned above culminated with the procurement directives of 2014, including most notably Directive 2014/24/EU, of February 26, 2014, on public procurement, which contains advances in the inclusion of social aspects in procurement.
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