L’emploi des personnes atteintes de troubles psychiques à l’aune des politiques développées par les institutions européennes et internationales

Laurène Joly
Maître de conférences en droit privé, Université de Bordeaux, COMPTRASEC – UMR CNRS 5114


Cet article a pour objectif de présenter un aperçu des réflexions menées par diverses institutions européennes et internationales sur l’emploi des personnes en situation de handicap psychique. En premier lieu, l’étude s’attache à rechercher s’il existe un consensus sur la façon d’appréhender le « handicap psychique ». Si la notion n’est pas explicitement consacrée par les différentes normes juridiques européennes et internationales, ces dernières reconnaissent que les personnes souffrant de troubles psychiques peuvent être considérées comme des personnes en situation de handicap. Pour autant, les dispositifs juridiques existants ne semblent pas toujours en mesure d’apporter des réponses adaptées à l’insertion et au maintien dans l’emploi de personnes en situation de handicap psychique. En second lieu, l’étude identifie donc les recommandations et les actions qui sont proposées par les différentes instances afin de remédier à ce constat. Ce recensement fait ainsi émerger une certaine porosité entre la prévention de la santé mentale et la question du handicap psychique.

Mots clés : handicap psychique, définition, travailleurs handicapés, santé mentale au travail, organisations internationales, institutions européennes


Employment of People with Mental Disorders in Terms of the Policies Developed by the European and International Institutions

Objectives The aim of this article is to present an overview of the reflections led by various European and international organizations on the employment of people with mental disorders.

Methods This study is based on data from websites of international organizations and interviews taken place with a disability specialist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and members of the European Commission.

Results Unlike the French law of 11 February 2005 which refers expressly to psychic disability, this notion is not explicitly dedicated by various European and international legal rules. However, these standards like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have adopted the contemporary model which presents disability as the result of an interaction between person and environment. Thus they acknowledge that disabled people include people suffering from mental disorders because in the person’s environment, a psychiatric impairment could lead to limitations of activities or restrictions of social participation that constitute a situation of disability of psychiatric origin. Therefore, the legal mechanisms often do not provide appropriate answers to the characteristics of psychiatric disability.

Besides, negative attitudes, stereotypes and discrimination towards people with a psychiatric disability are still observed in the workplace, in spite of intensified anti-discrimination legislation.

This study inventories the different proposals to remedy to substantial barriers to the employment of people with a psychiatric condition. In the European Union’s strategy for increasing the employment of these persons, particular consideration is given to put forward a series of key recommendations to improve practices of reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Nonetheless, it must be emphasized that it is necessary to conceive adequate measures in order to take into account the changeability and the unpredictability of mental disorders. Indeed, situations of psychiatric disability require flexibility and reactivity more than any other situation of disability. The discrimination experienced by people with a psychiatric disability is likely to continue as long as specific responses are not implemented. In this perspective, ILO highlights a number of best practices addressing the challenges of psychiatric disabled people’s employment. That is why a disability network was created to share knowledge. The great added value of this network is the opportunity to share best practices between companies, best practices between countries in order to increase the ability to include people with mental disorders. Focus is put on strategies to combat discrimination in employment, by raising awareness, exploring measures and good practices to improve mental health in the workplace.

Conclusion Finally, this study shows similar challenges in the prevention of the mental health and the issue of the psychiatric handicap, including to remedy to the insufficient attention paid to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with mental disorders.

Key words: psychiatric disability, definition, disabled workers, mental health in the workplace, international organizations, European Union

Auteur : Laurène Joly
Titre : L’emploi des personnes atteintes de troubles psychiques à l’aune des politiques développées par les institutions européennes et internationales
Revue : Santé mentale au Québec, Volume 42, numéro 2, automne 2017, p. 17-30
URI : http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/1041911ar
DOI : 10.7202/1041911ar

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