Costs, Risks and Responsibility. Negotiating the Value of Disabled Workers Between Disability Insurance and Employers

Eva Nadai, Anna Gonon & Fabienne Rotzetter (2018)

Swiss Journal of Sociology, Volume 44, Issue 3, p. 405-422

Abstract. Drawing on the theoretical framework of the Economics of Convention this paper analyses the employment of people with disabilities as a valuation process. Based on case studies and interviews in business companies and disability insurance offices, it explores how employers and disability insurance determine the value of disabled workers. Inasmuch as employers are not willing to adapt performance standards, job design and work organisation, disability insurance attains individual exceptions for its clients at best, while disabling standards remain intact.

Keywords: work integration; disability insurance; sociology of conventions; valuation

Coûts, risques et responsabilité sociale. L’évaluation des travailleurs en situation de handicap entre assurance-invalidité et employeurs

Résumé. L’article se propose d’analyser l’emploi des travailleurs en situation de handicap dans la perspective de l’économie des conventions. Sur la base d’études de cas et d’entretiens menés dans des entreprises et des offices de l’assurance-invalidité, cet article explore comment les employeurs et l’assurance-invalidité (AI) déterminent la valeur de la main-d’oeuvre en situation de handicap. Dans la mesure où les employeurs ne sont pas disposés à modifier les tâches, l’organisation du travail ou le niveau d’exigences, l’AI parvient au mieux à des exceptions pour ses clients, alors que les standards handicapants restent inchangées.

Mots-clés : insertion professionnelle, assurance-invalidité, sociologie des conventions, évaluation

Excerpt (p. 419)

It is important to note that convention-based evaluations are not reducible to individual attitudes or “company culture.” Rather, they are enabled and shaped by distinct arrangements of material and immaterial company and state forms that set the parameters of valuation. As “forms of the probable” (Thévenot 2001, 407) they delimit possible evaluations. Work organisation and personnel management forms such as recruiting procedures, performance assessment systems or tools for handling sickness management interact with labour law and state or occupational social insurance schemes to constitute the ideal worker for the company’s specific coordination of work and simultaneously the possible deviance from this norm.

Link to the article (pdf)