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A. UN Convention status
A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention
France signed the UNCRDP on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 18 February 2010. The ratification of the UNCRDP was enabled by Law 2009-1791 of 31 December 2009.
A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol
France signed the Optional Protocol on 23 September 2008 and ratified it on 18 February 2010. The ratification of the Optional Protocol was enabled by Law 2009-1791 of 31 December 2009. The instruments of ratification were deposited at the UN on 18 February 2010. Consequently the Convention and the Optional Protocol entered into force in France on 20 March 2010.
A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections
No reservations were entered. France entered an interpretive declaration on the term 'consent' in Article 15 as follows.
'The French Republic declares that it will interpret the term 'consent' in Article 15 of the Convention in conformity with international instruments, in particular those that relate to human rights and biomedicine, and with national legislation, which is in line with these instruments. This means that, as far as biomedical research is concerned, the term 'consent' applies to two different situations:
- Consent given by a person who is able to consent, and
- In the case of persons who are not able to give their consent, permission given by their representative or an authority or body provided for by law.
The French Republic considers it important that persons who are unable to give their free and informed consent receive specific protection, without prejudice to all medical research of benefit to them. In addition to the permission referred to under paragraph 2 above, other protective measures, such as those included in the above-mentioned international instruments, are considered to be part of this protection.
With regard to Article 29 of the Convention, the exercise of the right to vote is a component of legal capacity that may not be restricted except in the conditions and in accordance with the modalities provided for in article 12 of the Convention.'
A4. Comprehensive review
On 4 September 2012, the Prime Minister signed a circular on procedures aimed at taking into account disability in every bill. Another circular dated 4 July 2014 put emphasis on the necessity of a review of every bill aimed at inserting specific disposals concerning disabled persons when required and of the elaboration of a 'diagnosis record' in the scope of the elaboration of every bill. The Inter-Ministerial Committee for disability designed a disability correspondent in every cabinet and every Ministry in charge of ensuring the respect of these circulars.
A5. Focal point
In accordance with Art.33.1 of the CRDP, the focal point within the government is the General Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Disability (CIH / Comité interministériel du handicap chaired by the Prime Minister). This focal point is responsible for coordinating other focal points that are expected to be designated within each Ministry. The General Secretary also prepares the Committee's works and debates, and is in charge of coordinating and following the decisions of the Inter-Ministerial Committee that ensures that disability is taken into account in every bill when required.
The General Secretary also acts of the National Consultative Council of disabled people (Conseil National Consultatif des Personnes Handicapées, CNCPH), which is the consultative and consulting body concerning all measures taken by the public authorities in the scope of disability. As a permanent member and secretary of the Commission for monitoring the Convention, the General Secretary is also in charge of the follow-up of the implementation of the CRPD and of monitoring some specific projects.
An engagement letter was signed by the Prime Minister on 15 February 2016.
A6. Coordination mechanism
As a Secretary General with the Prime Minister, the focal point is responsible for coordinating the focal points that are expected to be designated within each Ministry, and for coordinating and following the implementation of the engagements of the government concerning disability as reported in the CIH’s roadmap in the scope of a three-layer mechanism:
- Convention implementation, ensured by the Interministerial Committee for Disability
- Convention implementation follow-up, ensured by the National Consultative Council of disabled people (Conseil National Consultatif des Personnes Handicapées, CNCPH), the National Consultative Commission on the human rights (Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme, CNCDH), the French Council for disabled people for European concerns (Conseil Français des Personnes Handicapées pour les Questions Européennes, CFHE), which is a member of the European Disability Forum, and the CIH’s General Secrétary.
- Convention implementation organisation and control, ensured by the Follow-up Committee (Comité de suivi), which is specifically dedicated to the mission of monitoring the implementation of the Convention (Commission de suivi de la Convention), and whose participants are :
- the Ombudsman (Défenseur des droits)
- a representative of the National advisory commission of human rights (CNCDH)
- the president and the vice-president of the National advisory council of disabled persons (CNCPH)
- the rapporteur of the CNCPH Commission for monitoring the Convention
- a representative of the French Council of disabled persons for European matters (Conseil Français des personnes handicapées pour les questions européennes, CFHE), chair of the Convention monitoring commission
- the General Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Disability (CIH), who is also Secretary of the National advisory council of disabled persons (CNCDH) and focal point.
A7. Independent mechanism
The National advisory council for human rights (CNCDH) and the Ombudsman (Défenseur des droits) are the national independent authorities that warrant the independence of the coordination mechanism.
A8. Official reporting
The initial report of France was submitted in accordance with Article 35 of the Convention. The Advance Unedited Version was submitted on 16 October 2017.
A9. Shadow reporting
Two shadow reports were anticipated in 2012 but were not formally submitted to the UN Committee - from the Ombudsman and from the French Council of disabled persons for European matters (CFHE). CFHE, as a representative of disabled persons' organisations, launched a national online consultation of disabled persons by means of a blog between November 2011 and June 2012.
B. General legal framework
B1. Anti-discrimination legislation
The general legal framework in France is Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 for equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of disabled persons.
Prohibition of any form of discrimination is a principle of constitutional value referred to in the preamble of the French Constitution (4 October 1958) and initially in the preamble of the French Declaration of human and citizen’s rights of 1789.
Discrimination comes within the criminal law and is defined in Article 225-1 of the penal Code: disability is one of the 18 grounds of prohibited discrimination along with origin, sex, family situation, pregnancy, physical look, family name, health state, disability, genetic characteristics, lifestyle, sexual orientation, age, political opinion, union activity, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion. Discrimination consists of denying the benefit of a legal right (such as the delivery of a good or a service), or hindering the normal exercise of any economic activity (such as employment, sanction or dismissal and so on).
Law 90-602 of 12 July 1990 regarding the protection of persons against discrimination related to their health state or disability and Law 2001-1066 of 16 November 2001 regarding the fight against discrimination mainly focused on employment (wages, vocational training, redirection, assignment, classification, qualification, professional promotion, relocation, contract renewal, sanction, dismissal) are two important laws at this regards.
Law 2004-1486 of 30 December 2004 creating the High authority against discrimination and for promoting equal rights (HALDE) is competent for the broad spectrum of all discrimination, either direct or indirect, prohibited by the law or by a binding international agreement. In 2011, HALDE was replaced by the Ombudsman (Défenseur des droits) created by Law 2011-333 of 29 March 2011.
Decree 2011-905 of 29 July 2011 frames the organisation and working of the Ombudsman services.
The Ombudsman now centralises the competences of the former HALDE, the ombudsman for children and the National commission of security deontology.
In the scope of the UN CRPD, the Ombudsman was appointed by the French government as the organisation in charge of the promotion, protection and monitoring of its application, in cooperation with the National council for disabled persons. As such, it helps disabled people in knowing and defending their rights. People who are victims of discrimination in any aspect of their lives can refer to the Right Defender and get help in the court.
B2. Recognition of legal capacity
The legal framework for adult legal protection in France consists of three levels of legal supervision for ‘protected adults’:
- judicial safeguard (Sauvegarde de justice – caretaking with full capacity);
- ‘curatorship’ (curatelle – partial guardianship); and
- ‘tutorship’ (tutelle – full guardianship).
Law 2007-308 of 5 March 2007 reforming legal protection of adults (Civil Code) came into force on 1 January 2009. Its implementation depends on administrative regulations (décrets d’application) enacted progressively. Article 425 of the Civil Code does not provide a precise definition of ‘capacity’, nor does it recognise degrees of incapacity, but rather focuses on the consequences of incapacity and holds that 'any person unable to provide for his/her own interests because of an alteration, medically attested, of his/her mental or body faculties likely to prevent him/her from expressing his/her will can benefit from one of the legal protection measures.' A guardianship judge (juge des tutelles) makes a decision, taking into account the degree of incapacity in each case, assisted by medical advice. Law of 5 March 2007 substituted with these criteria the previous criteria of ‘prodigality’, ‘intemperance’ and ‘idleness’. In other terms, social considerations alone are not sufficient to order this legal protection.
People who can request that an adult lacking capacity should be placed under protective regime are: the person requiring protection; a spouse; a civil partner; a cohabiting partner; a relative; a person with close and stable ties with the person; or the public prosecutor. In addition, a request for judicial safeguard may be made by a doctor who is treating a person in need of protection. The doctor files a request with the public prosecutor, with the medical advice of a psychiatrist (Article 434 of the Civil Code). Since 5 March 2007, Law 2007-308 stipulates that the protected adult can freely choose a person or a body that will implement the measures. Under the judicial safeguard regime, the appointment of a representative is not compulsory. If intervention is necessary, the representative is chosen by the protected adult, or the judge will appoint a special representative (Article 437 of the Civil Code). Under curatorship and tutorship, the protected adult also plays an important role in designating a guardian either by choosing one by him/herself or, when it is incumbent on the judge to do so, by having his/her opinion taken into account (Article 448 of the Civil Code). When the protected adult has made no choice, the judge is required to choose, in order, a spouse, a registered partner, a relative or a person having close and stable ties with the adult (Article 449 of the Civil Code). Finally, if none of these persons is available, the judge will appoint a person appearing on the list of judicial representatives (Article 450 of the Civil Code). Law of 2007 also introduced a new possibility: a mandate of future protection.
Under Article 122-1 of the Penal Code, a person is not criminally responsible when at the moment of the events he/she suffered from psychiatric or neuropsychiatric disorders that altered his judgment and the control of his acts. These provisions aim to protect people with significant mental disorders from a criminal sentence that they are not able to understand. Since Law 2008-174 of 25 February 2008 regarding security confinement and declaration of penal irresponsibility because of a mental disorder, a person who is declared free from criminal responsibility because of a mental disorder may be hospitalised against her consent. The decision is made by a judge, who must immediately inform the prefect (Article 3213-7 of the Public Health Code). The prefect remains free to order hospitalisation or not.
B3. Accessibility of voting and elections
Until Law of 11 February 2005, a person under tutorship could not register for voting and could not vote (whereas people under curatorship could vote). Law of 2005 allows a judge to give a person under tutorship the right to vote. Accordingly, Article 5 of the Electoral Code, preventing a person under tutorship from voting, has been modified since 12 February 2005. Law of 5 March 2007 reforming adult legal protection strengthens the right to vote and determines the right to vote for persons under tutorship as the norm. However, the judge has still the power to decide otherwise.
Persons placed in hospital without their consent, but who are not under tutorship, as it is expressly stipulated by the Public Health Code, have the right to vote (Article L. 3211-3).
Article L 62-2 of the Electoral Code stipulates that polling stations and voting technologies must be accessible to disabled persons, whatever their disability, physical, sensory, intellectual or mental, but it seems that these provisions concern more people with physical disability than people with intellectual disabilities or mental health disorders as various measures of implementation of this principle focus on physical accessibility.
B4. Official recognition of sign language
Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 recognises sign language as an official language, namely in Article 19 under Title IV Accessibility, in Chapter 1 related to education and training, and in Article 75 under Title VI Citizenship and social participation, related to the choice of language in school.
'French sign language is recognised as a fully-fledged language. Any concerned pupil has the right to be taught in French sign language [...]'. This official recognition is included in the Code of Education (Art. L.112-3 and Art. L312-9-1).
In complement of Article 75, Article 74 makes provision for TV programmes accessibility for deaf and hearing-impaired persons (all programs of public channels and private ones whose average annual audience is above 2.5%; 20 to 40% of the programs of the other private channels). Article 76 states that in administrative, civil and penal jurisdictions any deaf person has the benefit of the adapted communication device of her choice, whose cost is taken care of by the State. Article 77 makes provision for adapted examination conditions and assistance of a sign language interpreter for deaf or hearing-impaired persons to get a driving license. Article 78 holds that in relation to any public service hearing impaired persons may request a written or visual translation of any oral information concerning them, or the assistance of a sign language interpreter. Decree 2008-346 of 14 April 2008 provides for access of hearing impaired persons to emergency calls.
B5. National disability strategy and action plan
The Inter-Ministerial Committee for disability (Comité interministériel du handicap, CIH), which was created in 2009, is in charge of defining, coordinating and evaluating the policies of the State towards disabled persons. It meets regularly in order to define priority actions and objectives.
C1. Transport accessibility
The legal framework for the public policy on accessibility is represented by Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005. Title IV Accessibility of this law is divided into three chapters: 1) Education and training; 2) Employment; and 3) Built environment, Transport and New technologies. The French law considers built environment, public spaces, public roads, transportation and their inter-modality as integrated. According to Article 45 the who system is expected to be accessible by 2015.
To implement the law, the Inter-Ministerial Observatory for accessibility and universal design (Observatoire interministériel de l’accessibilité et de la conception universelle) was created on 11 February 2010 with the mission of monitoring the development, identifying the challenges to the implementation of accessibility, disseminating good practice and developing monitoring indicators.
Concerning transportation, Article 45 implemented accessibility schemes of transport services (Schéma Directeur d’Accessibilité des services de transports, SDA) intended to:
- clarify the programme of transportation accessibility by February 2015;
- define the accessibility modalities of different transportation types;
- identify technical barriers;
- identify 'substitution means of transport';
- determine maintenance modalities.
The schemes have to be elaborated by the authorities in charge of organising transportation and the main airport managers.
A midterm report on accessibility was drawn up in 2011. It pointed out the necessity of adapting the legislation to the concrete situation. In another report presented in 2013, concertation about planned accessibility calendars and adaptation to normative environment was launched, and the Inter-Ministerial Disability Committee proposed a norm aimed at completing the section about accessibility of 2005 Law on the basis of concertation. Concertation works were concluded in 2014 and reported, and the planned accessibility calendar, a tool aimed at planning the accessibility works, was created in September 2014.
The planned accessibility calendar concerning transportation, SD’AP (schéma directeur d’accessibilité-agenda d’accessibilité programmée) is a tool giving the possibility to the authorities in charge of organising transportation to extend works required for accessibility beyond 2015 and within a fixed term.
C2. Built environment accessibility
Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005, in Title IV Accessibility, Chapter III: Built environment, transports and new technologies, requires that by 2015 all housing buildings, buildings open to the public, workplaces, whether public or private, new or old, are accessible to all types of impairment. This is not mandatory for owners who build or improve a dwelling for their own use.
A series of decrees and orders issued between 2006 and 2009, detail the standards for the accessibility of buildings and access to the buildings (Order of 21 March 2007, Interministerial circular DGS/2006/271 – DGUHC/2006/48 of 14 June 2006, Interministerial circular 2006-96 of 21 December 2006, Interministerial circular of 14 December 2007, Interministerial circular of 20 April 2009.
Since 2006 the Parliament has made several attempts to introduce departures from the legislation on the accessibility to the built environment. So far, all these attempts have been censured by the constitutional council after submission of the cases by disabled persons' organisations.
The mid-term report drawn in 2011 concluded that having the same requirements for new buildings as for old ones caused a problem.
Concerning the built environment, the planned accessibility calendar, Ad'AP, gives the possibility to building companies to comply with the 2005 law after 1 January 2015. It explains the nature and the cost of works and compels the establishments' managers to perform the works within a fixed term.
C3. ICT and Web accessibility
Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005, in Title IV Accessibility, Chapter III-Built environment, transports and new technologies, Article 47 states that all types of on-line State communication services, whether national or local, should be accessible. Decree of 14 May 2009 for the implementation of Article 47 sets the dates of implementation and the standards of accessibility of State ICT and web services: by 16 May 2011 for the State and State-related communication services and 16 May 2012 for the local public services. Complementary orders detail the standards of accessibility of these services.
The standards of accessibility of State ICT and web services were updated. The third version, which resulted from a major updating made in 2015, was published in Decree of 29 April 2015 that was amended in 2016 and in 2017. The 2015 Decree made the implementation of the accessibility of public web communication compulsory: the State and the public establishments had to implement it within a two-year term and the regional authorities and depending organisations had to implement it within a three-year term.
D. Independent living
D1. Choice of living arrangements
Legally speaking there is no obligation for a disabled person to live in a particular living arrangement, such as an institution rather than in the community, except in particular cases for persons with a mental health condition, diagnosed as needing urgent psychiatric treatment and whose hospitalisation without or against their consent can be requested by a third party, such as family, medical doctor or prefect (regional State representative). However, de facto, the lack of accessibility, the insufficient number of personal assistance services and the scarceness of individual resources may not allow very dependent persons living on their own to employ personal assistants and live independently. Therefore they can find themselves with no other alternative than to enter institutions. This type of situation that Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 intended to improve by creating the Disability Compensation Benefit (Prestation de compensation /PCH), or the individual budget that should allow for more personal assistance, home adaptations and assistive devices.
Article 459-2 of the Civil Code states that a person under legal protection (curatorship or tutorship ) chooses the place where to live. He/She is free to have relationships with anyone, relative or not and has the right to be visited.
Article 426 of the Civil Code states that the accommodation and the furniture of a judicially protected person remain at his/her disposal as long as possible.
People with disabilities have the same right to housing benefits as others.
Law of 11 February 2005 created an independent living supplement to the AAH (Allowance to Disabled Adults /Allocation aux adultes handicapés), meant to enable and support independent living for people with severe disabilities.
The public policy conception of disability was renewed with the adoption of the Law no. 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 which focuses on integration in all areas of life and all decrees to enforce those principles in the workplace, access to school, urban renovation and public support and creates quotas of employment in both the private and public sectors.
D3. Quality of social services
The National agency for the assessment and quality of social and medico-social institutions and services (ANESM / Agence nationale de l’évaluation et de la qualité des établissements et services sociaux et medico-sociaux) created in 2007 is responsible for the statement of the principles of good practice, the accreditation of bodies in charge of assessing the quality of social and medico-social institutions and services, and controls the efficiency of their assessment activities. For that purpose, ANESM draws on regional and cross-departmental programmess of supervision, control and evaluation, implemented by regional and departmental public authorities in charge of social and health actions (DRASS, DDASS & MRIICE / Direction régionale et directions départementales des affaires sanitaires et sociales, Missions Régionale et interdépartementale d’inspection, de contrôle et d’évaluation). These programmes may focus on the prevention of unfair treatment in special institutions such as schools, psychiatric clinics, sheltered workshops for instance, and services such as nursing care at home.
D4. Provision of assistive devices at home
The National Agency for Solidarity and Autonomy (CNSA) that is in charge of implementing the national plan of medico-social services prepared the first assessment of the results in 2007.
CNSA supports the improvement and the professionalisation of home help as well as training for people who help or look after a disabled relative.
Also CNSA has supported the testing of national centres in charge of assessment of technical devices for mobility, cognitive stimulation, communication interfaces and assistance robotics.
D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes
The Disability Compensation Benefit (PCH / Prestation de compensation du handicap) created by Law of 11 February 2005, provides individual budgets that are meant to compensate for additional living costs, namely for personal assistance.
Each department (a sub-regional entity) can either provide financial help to hire a person in charge of helping disabled people in their daily lives or provide support at home directly. The general case consists in providing home help by a person who is paid by the administrative department. Financial help is provided only in case when the service offered by the department is not sufficient or appropriate.
It is means-tested and can vary from one department to another. The department can ask the disabled person for some financial contribution. The maximum time allowed is 30 hours per month.
In some cases it can be paid back to the department by the inheritance of the disabled person.
The person must either have a permanent disability over 80% or have a permanent disability that ranges from 50 to 79% and be recognised as being unable to find a job. It can also be allocated to people over 65 and to unfit people over 60.
In addition, services for special education and home care (service d’éducation spéciale et de soins à domicile-SESSAD) are provided.
As far as children are concerned, there are services aimed at providing them with specialised school education and care, either in the SESSAD offices, at school or at home.
The type and the level of each service depends on the needs of the child and is entirely funded by the government
D6. Income maintenance
When a young person is under 20 years of age, his/her family receives the Allocation d’éducation de l’enfant handicapé (AEEH) (Education allowance for a disabled child) is paid by the Social Security and it contributes to education and care expenses for the child.
Income support for disabled people aged 20 years of age and older is attributed through five different systems:
- War invalidity pensions (Pension militaire d’invalidité - PMI);
- Work injuries and occupational diseases benefit (Rente d’accident du travail ou de maladie professionnelle - RAT-MP);
- Invalidity pension (contributory benefit) (Pension d’invalidité - PI) and its additional pension;
- Means-tested non contributory disability benefit (Allocation aux adultes handicapés - AAH) and income supplement; and
- Disability compensation benefit (Prestation de compensation du handicap - PCH).
The conditions to be recorded in these different systems depend on the source of impairments.
People who had been engaged in a working activity and fulfilled the affiliation conditions to social security, are entitled to the contributory disability benefit called 'Pension d’invalidité' (PI) (Invalidity pension) if their work capacity is reduced by 2/3 as a result of an accident or an illness not work-related. Three categories of PI can be attributed:
- Category 1: for claimants still able to work: 30% of the former wage;
- Category 2: for claimants unable to work: 50% of the former wage;
- Category 3: for claimants unable to work and in need of a personal assistance for everyday living activities: 50% of the former wage + attendant supplement.
In case of a very law amount, when work was part-time, the PI can be accumulated with the non-contributory disability benefit called 'AAH' (see below) up to the full amount of AAH.
For people who acquired early in their life, a bad health condition, impairment or disability, and have not worked long enough to be entitled to Social security protection, there is a (means-tested non-contributory) disability benefit named Allocation aux Adultes Handicapés (AAH). This non-contributory benefit is a social minimum which is attributed by the Commission des droits et de l’autonomie des personnes handicapées (CDAPH). There is also an Income supplement (Complément de ressources – CR) if the claimant’s work capacity is lower than 5%. To favour independent living, there is another supplement of AAH called “Majoration pour vie autonome – MVA” (literally, a supplement for autonomous life). People have to choose between the income supplement and the benefit for autonomous life.
The last important measure taken for people with disability is the Disability compensation benefit (Prestation de compensation du handicap - PCH). The PCH is a non-contributory benefit and is not really a provision of income support, but only a compensation of costs related to disability.
D7. Additional costs
Recipients of war disability pension are entitled to free medical care relating to their war injuries or diseases.
People who have work injuries or occupational diseases get 100% funding for medical expenses due to those injuries/diseases from social security.
To compensate disability-related expenses not covered by social security, there are non-contributory benefits which are not really provisions of income support but a compensation of additional costs related to disabilities.
As far as disabled children are concerned:
Parts of six supplements to the benefit for disabled children corresponding to the combination of different situations are taken into account when compensating the following disability-related expenses:
- when the parents employ a person to take care of their child;
- when the amount of the medical expenses exceeds EUR 226 per month.
It is non means-testing and non-contributory.
To be eligible to receive the benefit for a disabled child, families need to be in one the following six categories:
- First category: expenses exceed EUR 226;
- Second category: home help of eight hours per week is required (or reduction of 20% of the activity of one parent) or expenses exceed EUR 391;
- Third category: home help of 20 hours per week (or reduction of 50%) or home help of eight hours per week (or a reduction of 20%) and expenses exceed EUR 238 or are over EUR 500;
- Fourth category: Permanent home help (or stop working) is required or home help of 20 hours per week (or reduction of 50% ) and expenses over EUR 331 or home help of eight hours (or reduction of 20%) and expenses over EUR 442 or expenses over EUR 705;
- Fifth category: Permanent home help (or stop working) is required and expenses are over EUR 289;
- Sixth category: Permanent home help (or stop working) and permanent care are required.
Families have to choose between one of these supplements and the disability compensation benefit. But they can combine the supplement with the part of the disability compensation benefit concerning home or car costs or compensating additional transportation expenses.
People with work injuries and occupational diseases benefit can get a supplement to the benefit to be able to employ a person to help them at home: this is a supplement to employ a person (prestation complémentaire pour recours à une tierce personne-PCRTP). For this purpose, their incapacity rate must be of at least 80% and their disability must require human help for at least three activities of daily life. The amount of a supplement depends on the number of gestures of ordinary life that require personal assistance. It ranges from EUR 552.08 to EUR 1,656.26 per month.
People receiving an invalidity pension can get an increase of their benefit/pension aimed at hiring permanent help: a supplement to employ a person permanently (majoration pour tierce personne-MTP) in case their disabilities prevent them from working and require permanent personal assistance in daily life (cat 3). It amounts to EUR 1,104.49 per month.
Before 2013, people who got work injuries and occupational diseases benefit could get a supplement to employ a person (PCRTP). People who currently get work injuries and occupational diseases benefit and a supplement to employ a person (PCRTP) can continue to get it or ask for a supplement to employ a person permanently (MTP).
The 2005-102 Law of 11 February 2005 created the Disability Compensation Benefit (Prestation de compensation du handicap / PCH), a personalised non-contributory, non means-testing, not subject to taxation, individual budget meant to compensate for additional living costs in terms of human assistance, technical aids, adaptation of home, vehicle and extra-costs for transportation, animal assistance, and exceptional expenses. The PCH is granted to persons whose disability is permanent or may last for a foreseeable period of one year minimum, and have an absolute difficulty to perform at least one basic Activity of Daily Living (ADL) or have a severe difficulty in performing at least two basic ADLs out of a list of 19 ADLs in the following 4 domains: personal care, mobility, communication, control and orientation.
The PCH intends to replace progressively the compensatory allowance for personal assistance (Allocation compensatrice pour tierce personne-ACTP). The ACTP, a means-tested allowance, was granted to persons aged 16 to 60 with an incapacity rate of 80% and who need assistance to perform main daily living activities. The amount of the allocation depends on the person being still able to perform a number of ADLs or not at all. Those persons who started to receive the ACTP before 2006 are still entitled to keep this benefit instead of the PCH.
Disabled people who live at home, as well as those who live in an institution, can benefit from this help as far as they meet absolute difficulty to perform at least one basic ADL or have severe difficulty in performing at least two basic ADLs.
As far as children and teenagers are concerned, this benefit is linked with the Education allowance for a disabled child. People have to choose between the supplement of the education allowance for a disabled child and the disability compensation benefit. But they can combine the supplement with part of the disability compensation benefit concerning home or car layouts or compensating transportation over-expenses.
It cannot be combined with the personalised autonomy allocation, which is allocated to old people. Normally it is not allocated to people over 60 years of age unless they work or if they were eligible before this age. In this case, they must claim it before the age of 75.
The eligibility is not means-tested but the part of the expenses covered by the benefit ranges from 80 to 100% depending on personal (non-professional) income (which does not include survival pensions and disability savings) or on family income if a person is a child or an adolescent. In addition, the expenses covered by the PCH must not exceed a limit, depending on the service which is funded.
The disability compensation benefit can be combined with the benefit for disabled adults and one of the two additional benefits. It is also possible to combine the benefit for disabled children and one of its supplements with one part of the disability compensation benefit corresponding to expenses belonging to one of the six categories and other than expenses already compensated by the supplement.
D8. Retirement income
Retirement pensions are calculated on the same bases as for other people.
Retirement pensions cannot be combined with the Invalidity pension nor with the benefit for disabled adults (AAH), but this benefit and its supplements can complete a low retirement benefit in the limit of EUR 987 (EUR 808 + EUR 179) per month. For the AAH recipient, legally the person is automatically considered as unfit for work if aged 60, and can apply for a retirement income. A person with a 50% incapacity who has reached 60 years of age will be entitled to AAH or to the benefit for old people which is equivalent in case his/her retirement pension is less than the amount of the benefit for disabled adults.
As for people having an incapacity level under 50% and who have reached the age of 60, they can get the basic benefit for older people if they are recognised as unable to work. If they are not recognised as unable to work, they will have to reach 65 years of age.
E1. Special schools
Law of 11 February 2005 for equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of disabled persons forms the basic legal framework for equality of learning opportunities. Its Article 19 introduced Article L. 112-1 into the code of Education from which the public service provides schooling, professional training or tertiary education to disabled children, teenagers and adults and the State provides human and financial resources which are required for schooling of disabled children, teenagers and adults in an ordinary environment in its skills domains. Whereas mainstream schooling is a priority (art 112-2), if needed, children can be placed in a specialised institute, either part-time or full-time, where teaching is carried out by specialised teachers in teaching units (Unité d’enseignement, UE, Order of 2 April 2009). In the scope of France’s inclusive policy, specialised teaching units are being externalised from the socio-medical sector (Instruction no DGCS/3B/2016/207 of 23rd June 2016). The externalisation of specialised teaching units consists in part or all of a teaching unit having a class and being taught in an ordinary school part-time through a cooperation between the professionals of both establishments. It also has to favour inclusion of disabled children or adolescents into ordinary classes with the support of a medico-educative professional.
E2. Mainstream schools
Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 provides an express obligation on the State to ensure education of all disabled children. The right to education and to reasonable accommodation within education of disabled children is affirmed in articles 19 to 22 of the Law. Article 11 affirms the right of access to local mainstream schools and the right to a personalised educational project.
In accordance with Article L 112-2 of the Education Code, a personal education plan (Plan personalisé de scolarisation, PPS) is elaborated to organise the child’s education and provision of support means. It implies the cooperation of a multidisciplinary team that includes pedagogical, educative, social, psychological, medical and paramedical actions.
Since 2005, amongst other missions, the Commission for the Rights and the Autonomy of Disabled Persons must determine whether a child, in accordance with his or her 'personal life project', should be placed in the mainstream educational system, in some cases with special support, in specialised classes (CLIS) or in specialised institutions. The Regional administration of National Education (Académie) participates in this commission, in coordination with all persons involved in the support and education of the child.
Mainstream education is a priority (art 112-2). Inclusion in mainstream schools can be organised either individually, with specific support of the mainstream teacher, adapted pedagogical environment and teaching materials, and/or provision of a school assistant, depending on the child’s specific needs, or by a specialised teacher in charge of organising some of the teaching in the classroom and of supporting inclusion into mainstream classes.
Whatever the modality of inclusion chosen, disabled children can benefit from the support of a specialised education and care service, SESSAD (service d'éducation spéciale et de soins à domicile).
The Law on school reform was adopted in 2013. It introduced the concept of school inclusion which implies disabled children being in the classroom with support teaching and it reinforced cooperation between mainstream schools and specialised institutions whose frame was defined in the Code of Education (Article L351-1-1). Teachers, as well as other education personnel, now benefit from training concerning disability. Taking into consideration the variety of pupils and disabled children in particular has been introduced into the initial training of teachers (Decree of 27 August 2013). The profession of support of disabled pupils is being developed and in 2016 their qualification was settled as well as the corresponding Diploma (Decree 2016-74 of 29 January 2016; Order of 29 January 2016).
In Septembre 2015, all the inclusion units located in ordinary schools are qualified as Ulis (Ulité locales d’inclusion scolaire, local inclusion units, Circular 2015-129 of 21 August), aimed at supporting inclusive education rather than segregating disabled students. Ulis exist in elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high-schools and technical colleges.
SEGPAs (Sections d’enseignement général et professionnel adapté, adapted general and professional teaching sections), which are special classes in ordinary secondary schools aimed at supporting students with high learning difficulties or with disabilities in the acquisition of the common fundamental skills before the orientation toward professional training, have evolved to be included into secondary schools (Circular 2015-176 of 28 October 2015).
Inclusion also concerns the establishment of specialised teaching units from the socio-medical sector. Also in the scope of the 'autism plan 2013-2017' 110 preschool units were created in 2016.
Each school is now supposed to organise the reception and the support to disabled children in the scope of the project 'The right to education for all children'.
E3. Sign language and Braille in school
Article 75 of Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 has introduced Article L 312-9-1 to the Code of Education in order to officially recognise the French sign language for persons with hearing impairments.
In their education course, young people with hearing impairments are free to choose between bilingual communication (sign language and French language) and communication in French language (Article L. 112-3 of the Education Code).
In 2010 (Bulletin officiel 25 du 24 juin 2010), “hubs to support the education of young deaf people” were organised. This measure involved a set of resources (teachers mastering the sign language, spoken completed language coders, etc.) organised at the scale of a geographic zone composed of primary and secondary schools, necessarily including general and professional education secondary schools and aiming at supporting the pupil’s inclusion into ordinary schools. Law 2013-595 of 8 July 2013 puts emphasis on the education of deaf children by means of to adapted mechanisms organised by each school at the scale of an administrative department.
E4. Vocational training
Law of 11 February 2005 sets the legal frame of the equality of rights of disabled people, among which the right to education and vocational training. Its Article 19 introduced Article L. 112-1 into the Education Code from which the public service provides schooling, professional training or tertiary education to disabled children, teenagers and adults and the State provides human and financial resources which are required for educating disabled children, teenagers and adults in an ordinary environment in its skills domains.
Non-discrimination implies that disability can not constitute the reason for being refused education, including beyond compulsory schooling age. However, young disabled people in vocational training programmes are not specifically covered by disability discrimination legislation beyond compulsory school age. There is a positive discrimination (compensation) in favour of apprenticeship and specific financial support from Agefiph in favor of vocational training in general.
Agefiph supports the training of disabled unemployed people in general (they may select among short- or long-term training sessions professionalising in recruiting sectors), and also takes part in funding of individual training costs as far as they are in line with an insertion project and offer serious employment perspectives.
They also support the training of young disabled people who are offered a subsidised contract in the scope of the 'jobs for the future' programme by funding up to 80% of the pedagogical costs to get a diploma.
Qualifying vocational training is offered either through an apprenticeship contract or a professionalising contract.
In the scope of their missions, Cap emploi and Agefiph can support the young disabled who are willing to go for qualifying training in their company search.
Apprenticeship which makes it possible to acquire a qualification is normally intended to young people aged 16-25 years old but exceptions about the age limit can be given to disabled people in the scope of an adapted apprenticeship contract. Then there is no age limit. In addition, the duration of the contract and of the training, which is normally limited to three years, can be extended to one year when the apprentice has an administrative recognition as a disabled worker (Articles R6222-46 to R6222-49-1 of the Labor Code) .
Moreover, the working time can be adjusted and pedagogical adaptations can be implemented or the courses can take place in an adapted CFA or by mail (Articles R6222-50 to R6222-53 of the Labour Code).
Disabled apprentices can benefit from assistance provided to them when entering an apprenticeship.
A company recruiting an apprentice benefits from a tax credit which is amended in case the apprentice is disabled and from social tax exemptions. In addition to these tax benefits and the subventions that are allocated by the Regions to the companies employing an apprentice, in general, companies training a disabled person can benefit from a subvention from the Sate equivalent to 520 times the minimum wage per hour (Article R6222-55 of the Labor Code).
Professionalising contracts are also intended to conduct to professional diploma and aim at enabling young people and adults to get a job afterwards. In accordance to Decree of 8 March 2017, France has been conducting an experiment regarding disabled people as well as other vulnerable persons who are eligible for qualification trainings that may be different from the ones which they must normally attend as well as for part of qualifying training sessions and for pre-qualifying training sessions.
Agefiph also financially supports the accessibility of apprenticeship and professionalising trainings including support to the training of the mentor in the company, support to the accessibility of the work place, support to the adaptation of working conditions, support to transportation, to technical aids, etc. Financial support can also be provided to the accommodation of pedagogical conditions such as individual or collective pedagogical supports and technical aids. Agefiph also allocates support to CFAs to welcome and include young disabled people and to adapt the pedagogical materials.
At the end of the apprenticeship contract or of a professionalising contract, in case the company employs a young person for an indeterminate duration or for at least 12 months, Agefiph financially supports the recruitment and subsequent employment.
E5. Higher education
Accessibility to higher education and provisions regarding learning materials and adapted equipment are regulated by several pieces of legislation, including Law n° 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 (TITLE IV : ACCESSIBILITY Chapter I), the Code of Education (Art. L112-4) and Decree 2005-1617 of 21 December 2005.
It is the responsibility of universities to define their financial needs in terms of collective accommodations and services and to submit them to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research for funding. These accommodations and adapted materials include tutoring and other forms of individual support, adapted examination conditions, sign language interpretations, adapted computers and Braille transcription.
F1. Non-discrimination in employment
The principle of non-discrimination was applied in France in employment policy after the adoption of two main laws.
The Law 90-602 of 12 July 1990 regarding the protection of persons against discrimination due to their health status or disability was meant originally to protect people with AIDS. Disability was added as a cause of discrimination which would be prohibited and punished by penal courts. The Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005 extended the principle of non-discrimination according to the EU Council Directive 2000/78/EC framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, in 2005.
There are some exceptions in regard to the prohibition of discrimination in employment of people with disabilities. Article 225-3 of the Penal Code states that the provisions of Article 225-1 (grounds of discrimination) are not implemented when: in cases of discrimination based on health state or disability, the hiring refusal or a dismissal is motivated by a medically recognised unfitness to the post, according to Title IV of Book II of the Labour Code (Code du Travail), or according to the health provisions related to public service; in cases of discrimination in hiring, based on gender, age, or physical appearance, when such a motive consists in an essential and determining professional requirement.
Disabled people can work in an ordinary environment, in an ordinary company, in an adapted company (Entreprise adaptée, EA), in a home work distribution centre (Centre de distribution de travail à domicile, CDTD), or they can work in a specialised workshop (Etablissement et service d’aide par le travail, ESAT). They are oriented by the Commission for the rights and the autonomy of disabled persons (CDAPH) and can be recruited through public employment agencies (Pôle emploi and Cap emploi). Adapted enterprises (Enterprises adaptées (EAs)) are intended for people unable to work in companies without substantial accommodation in the open labour market and have to employ 80% of people having been recognised as disabled workers (RQTH). ESATs are devoted to people with a working capacity below 30% of the French standard productivity for the same work position.
According to the Labour Code (Articles R5212-1 to R5212-31), in France, companies which have been employing more than 20 persons for at least three years legally have the duty to employ at least 6% of disabled persons. However, there are some alternatives to the employment of disabled persons which were extended by the Law in 2015 such as the settlement of an annual program in favour of disabled workers and planning of recruitment measures and internship opportunities, especially for disabled young people under 16 years of age in the scope of the discovering of pathways to the labour market, subcontracting with adapted companies, specialised workshops or independent disabled workers.
F2. Public employment services
Agefiph and FIPHPF support and cooperate with 'Cap emploi' which is a national network of employment agencies in charge of diagnosis, orientation and assistance services to disabled people registered as job seekers and to employers wishing to employ disabled persons. 'Cap emploi' offers a specialised assistance which can rely on external support if necessary. This assistance includes the definition of a professional project, the analysis of training needs and the design of a training project, advice in the job search, support to integration and the follow up inside the company and information about assistance, as well as measures in favour of job retention in case of a development of the working situation or of the person’s disability. Every disabled person can benefit from support to employment disposal (dispositif de l’emploi accompagné) aimed at making it possible for disabled people to get or to keep a job. It consists of medico-social support and of support to professional insertion, taking the form of an evaluation of the disabled person’s situation, professional project and skills, the elaboration of a professional project in favour of an insertion into an ordinary environment, support in job-seeking, a follow-up of the person at work in order to secure his/her professional path by facilitating his/her access to training and to develop their portfolio of skills, propositions of work accommodation, and so on. The level of support is decided by the CDAPH in accordance with a disabled person. The support is provided by an organisation which may be a social or medico-social service or organisation targeted by Article L 312-1 of the Code for social action and the family. It can also be requested by the employer in order to prevent difficulties, adapt the working conditions, and anticipate the employee’s path in the company.
Another organisation, Alther, is in charge of mobilising companies in positive actions in favour of the employment of disabled persons: recruitment, job keeping, access to qualifications, sub-contracting with adapted companies or specialised workshops.
F3. Workplace adaptations
The main legal provisions requiring that adaptations and accessibility of workplaces should be completed by 2015, are contained in Law 2005-102 of 11 February 2005, Title IV- Accessibility, Chapter III: Built environment, transports, new technologies. Article 41 applies to all buildings, internal and external equipment, whether housing buildings, public buildings or workplaces. Decree 2009-1272 of 21 October 2009 regarding accessibility of workplaces for disabled employees reinforces the provisions of the 2005 law on workplaces and provides details on the norms and standards of adaptations. Both the Law and the Decree make provisions for departures from the law (Art. R 4214-27) that can be granted by the Prefect (higher regional public authority) on the basis of assessed technical impossibility.
According to Article L241-10-1 of the Labour Code, the occupational health doctor is entitled to 'propose individual measures such as workstations’ changes or transformations' considering such factors as 'the age, the physical resistance, and the health status of the worker'. The employer is committed to take into considerations the propositions of adaptations and in case of refusal, he has to justify it. The obligation has no direct link with the size of the company but with the financial means of the company. The jurisprudence of the European Commission and of the Council of state have been clarifying the notion of 'reasonable' adaptations. It is an obligation as far as the cost of the measures is not 'disproportionate' taking into account the financial supports that can be allocated to the company. The final decision is made by the Labour inspector.
In regards to disabled persons and those who are in the process of being recognised as disabled, as far as there is a recommendation from the occupational health doctor, Agefiph takes part in the funding of material, human and organisational means, of temporary professional help in the limit of EUR 9,150 per year, and of interpreting or interface services for death people in the limit of EUR 2,600 per year (EUR 9,100 in the scope of a training session) as well as for video-interpretation in the limit of EUR 1,300.
In certain complex situations a specialist of working conditions adaptations can be hired to evaluate the needs and solutions. Agefiph also supports vehicles’ adaptations.
F4. Financial incentives
Companies not fulfilling their quota duty have to pay a tax which is collected by Agefiph. Agefiph is an organisation which was created in 1987, following the law setting a 6 % employment quota for persons with disabilities in the private sector. It has been in charge of the administration of the contributions paid by companies that do not fulfill the quota, which was converted into a fund for the professional insertion of disabled persons. In 2011 and 2013 its competences were extended by the Government to include the funding and provision of professional training for unemployed disabled people. It is administrated by representatives of employers, employees and disabled people.
The taxes paid by public employers not complying with their quotas are collected and administrated by FIPHFP (fonds pour l’insertion des personnes handicapées dans la function publique), which was created in 2006 by decree. This tax enables to fund and to support consulting services, training activities, monitoring in companies, insertion, job keeping and accommodation in favour of disabled persons.
The law of 2005 started an activation policy for people who benefit from the non-contributory disability benefit (Allocation aux adultes handicapés - AAH). The adaptation of the calculation of the allowance for disabled people (AAH), which was decided in 2016, results in not taking into account the entire salary of disabled people when considering the maximum reference income. It is reduced by 80% (that is to say only 20% will be considered) for the part below 30% of the minimum gross salary, that is to say for the part under 30% x EUR17,599 per year, and of 40% (that is to say only 60% will be taken into account) for the part exceeding 30% of the minimum gross salary.
G. Statistics and data collection
G1. Official research
The official department responsible for research on disability is the Department of research, studies, evaluation and statistics (DREES /Direction de la recherche, des études, de l’évaluation et des statistiques) of the Ministry of Health. DREES is part of the public statistical system that is responsible for collecting, analysing and publishing reliable data on populations, social and health systems and policies.
DREES coordinates with INSEE (National institute of statistics and economic studies) the disability surveys and provides all statistics and data related to disability and to the implementation of public disability policy other than employment, which is under the responsibility of DARES, Direction of research, studies and statistics of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Health.
G2. Census data
The most recent data concerning the prevalence of disability are data released by Dares. The disabled population Dares refers to is composed of two groups :
- People declaring they have an administrative recognition of their disability;
- People declaring they have an administrative recognition and people declaring they have a durable or chronicle disease or health problem and they have been limited for at least six months in usual activities because of a health problem.
The second group is considered a group of people 'in a disability situation'.
There is a national Census carried out by INSEE (National institute of statistics and economic studies), the Employment survey (enquête emploi) which aims at describing the situation of people in the labour market. It is conducted every year and concerns people aged 15 to 64. Some data concern employed disabled people (Emploi, chômage, revenus du travail, édition 2017 - Insee Références, Fiche Temps et conditions de travail, § 4.5 Travail, santé et handicap, p.120).
G3. Labour Force Survey
The national Census carried out by the INSEE (National institute of statistics and economic studies) includes the Employment survey (enquête emploi), which aims at describing the situation of people in the labour market. It is conducted annually and concerns people aged 15-64. Some data concern employed disabled people. Some data are published by the INSEE itself (Emploi, chômage, revenus du travail, édition 2017 - Insee Références, Fiche Temps et conditions de travail, § 4.5 Travail, santé et handicap, p.120), others are released by DARES. They are based on the following criteria:
• Employed people are those defined by the international labour organisation;
• Data are limited to people aged 15 up to 64 years old;
• The employment rate is calculated as the number of employed disabled people as per the number of disabled people.
The survey 'enquête Emploi' provides data about the employment rates of disabled persons in consideration of the two disability criteria defined in section G2, as well as the repartition of the numbers by gender and by age (16-64). They concern the age group of 15-64 years old. The other subgroups are 15-24, 25-39, 40-49 and 50-64 years old.
G4. Disability equality indicators
The available disability indicators are most often meant to assess the achievements in regard to the objectives set by public policies (especially social and employment policies) rather than to monitor the implementation of equality. Even if public policies objectives may converge towards or meet equality principles, the approach in setting indicators is different. A consequence is that indicators are set by sector of public activity and scattered among various administrations.
Another source of disability equality indicators is DARES (Direction of research, studies and statistics of the Ministry of labour, employment and health), which provides indicators of employment and unemployment of disabled persons and compares them with the data concerning the overall population.
The Observatory for accessibility and universal design created in 2010, whose mission is to monitor the developments, identify the challenges to the implementation of accessibility, disseminate good practice and develop monitoring indicators, does not provide indicators on its website.
A set of disability indicators established by DREES and INSEE in 2009 is intended to follow the evolution of the beneficiaries of public provisions.
H. Awareness and external action
H1. Awareness raising programs
Following the 2013 Inter-Ministerial Disability Committee, a campaign about universal accessibility was launched by the French Government. It was based on comedy aiming at illustrating different aspects of the lives of disabled persons and of universal accessibility.
H2. Training for teachers
Taking into consideration the variety of pupils and disabled children, in particular, new modules on disability have been introduced into the initial training of teachers (Decree of 27 August 2013). In 2013, an order (Circular 2013-122, of 27 August 2013) organised modules at a national scale into the vocational training of teachers for the year 2013-2014 on five topics related to education of disabled children in schools. For the year 2016-2017, the vocational training of teachers (Circular n° 2016-119, of 25 August 2016) was organised at a national scale concentrated on the specific needs of pupils and students with disabilities.
H3. Training for lawyers
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H4. Training for doctors
Disability is part of the programmes followed by medical school students.
H5. Training for engineers
The field of accessibility appears to be the most active in setting norms, requirements and obligations within the training of the concerned professions. A seriesof legislative decrees and arrêtés have been issued since the law of 11 February 2005.
H6. International development aid
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