J├╝rgen Menze

According to ILO estimates, the informal economy comprises more than half of the global labour force and more than 90% of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) worldwide. Subsequently, bringing workers with and without disabilities from the informal to the formal sector of the economy remains a major challenge for all actors in the labour market. In certain contexts, workers might prefer to actually be in the informal sector for different reasons, e.g. no taxation. Having said this, anecdotal evidence indeed suggests that barriers for people with disabilities to enter and remain in formal employment remain high, definitely higher than those encountered by people without disabilities.

Representatives from governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations from over 180 countries agreed on a set of recommendations to promote the transition to the formal economy in 2015, acknowledging the need to pay particular attention to the circumstances of persons with disabilities. This ILO Recommendation No. 204 includes issues like conducting research to understand the causes and drivers of informality in a given context, tackling informality with legal tools, promoting a conducive business environment and access to skills acquisition and financial resources for entrepreneurs.