The government sent to the National Congress, on November 26th, Bill No. 6,159/19, which aims to change the rules for filling quotas reserved for people with disabilities, established by Law No. 8,213/91.

The objective of the change is to make it easier for some sectors and companies that face difficulties in doing so, due to their location and the nature of the services provided. The bill does not, however, propose changes in the percentage to be considered for the fulfilment of the quota: 2% to 5% for companies with 100 or more employees, depending on the total number of staff members.

The first change suggested is to allow the same employee to be computed for the purposes of compliance with both the quota for hiring apprentices, provided for in the Consolidated Labor Laws (CLT), and the quota for people with disabilities, if they meet the two conditions simultaneously, which was previously forbidden in the laws and regulations.

Doubling the computation for the hiring of people with severe disabilities has also been proposed. This is one of the controversial items of the bill, since, although it encourages the hiring of people who have more difficulty in entering the job market, it may reduce the quota for some companies by half and generally reduce the supply of opportunities to people with disabilities.

The bill also proposes that not only regular employees, but also temporary and outsourced workers be included in the calculation basis for the quota. Thus, outsourcing companies remove from their calculation basis employees made available to the recipients of services.

Another proposal in the bill is exclusion of positions that require the exercise of a dangerous activity from the basis for calculating the quota of persons with disabilities, as well as those positions for which the activities restrict or prevent the exercise of the role by such persons or for which the work hours are less than 26 hours per week.

Bill 6,159/19 also aims to facilitate compliance with the quota by allowing for the obligation to hire people with disabilities to be replaced with the payment of a monthly contribution, in the amount of two minimum wages, to the Ministry of Economy's Program for Physical and Professional Rehabilitation, Prevention, and Reduction of Accidents at Work.

This provision will certainly be the subject of a broad debate in the Chamber of Deputies, since it goes against the guidelines for inclusion of persons with disability, substituting the idea of engagement in hiring with that of payment in cash.

The bill also provides for the possibility of offsetting the surplus hiring of one company against the shortage of another, which has not yet been regulated by the laws and regulations.

The expectation is that Bill 6,159/19, if approved, even partially, will facilitate compliance by companies with the hiring quota for people with disabilities. The difficulties encountered by companies in complying with this provision of law are known and legitimate, and are often related to the level of training of professionals or to accessibility infrastructure issues in different regions of Brazil. The measure also has the potential to increase competition among professionals with disabilities, as the jobs available to them are usually quite limited.