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      Discontinuation of the limited disability pension: Human rights violating sanctions regime is being extended to the sick and the (partially) disabled!

      Aggravated authoritarian regime of sanctions in connection with the occupational and disability pension is passed in the national assembly on 5.12.2012 and the Bundesrat on 20.12.2012 without significant resistence

      Compulsory Rehab: Sanctions for sick and (partially) disabled

      (wien, Graz, 7.1.2013) While fit2work has (during the pilot phase) always emphasized the principle of a “voluntary agreement” [AGG §1 (3)], this is now over with the amendment of §8 AIVG by the SRÄG:

      The regional office has to request a medical examination upon doubts of capability to work or a a risk to health if a such examination is not initiated already. In case of refusal to pursue such request unemployment benefits are withdrawn for the period of refusal.”

      New ASVG § 99 (3): Withdrawal of benefits becomes effective … if … or the person due to undergo rehabilitation refuses to participate in an reasonable medical measure for rehabilitation (§ 143a (4));”

      § 143a ASVG (4): “In case the person due for rehabilitation refuses a reasonable collaboration with medical measures of rehabilitation, the rehabilitation benefit is to be withdrawn for the period of the refused collaboration after referring to this legal consequence.

      Also new and in the same spirit, AIVG § 10 (4): “Anyone staying away from an education measure, without endangering the success of the measure, looses the entitlement to unemployment benefit for the times of non-attendance, except if compelling reasons justify this.”

      This is in explicit complience with the joint request of the social partners from the "Bad Ischler Dialog 2011“: “The ensured are obliged to collaborate within the framework of rehabilitation. These are to be demanded more.” (“Bad Ischler Dialog“ S.4: Maßnahmenvorschläge - Punkt 2 )

      Concluded: The paternalistic to totaliterian regime of sanctions, which is widely known from the “Activating labour policy” and fundamentally criticised, is being extended to (chronically) ill and (partially) disabled people. The obvious name for the compulsory treatment during rehabilitation: Compulsory Rehabilitation .

      The discontinuation of fit2work is divided up on “employees’ side” to the providers ibis acam and ÖSB as follows:

      • ÖSB: Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tirol
      • ibis acam: Burgenland, Styria, Vorarlberg, Vienna

      Data Protection is getting wholes

      So far, collection and passing on of data required approval and could be revoked, the interaction of AIVG and AGG removes the requirement of approval and the revocability by law; many sensitive personal data, even confidential helth data like medical reports are passed on from fit2work to AMS, helth insurance etc.

      Active Unemployed Austria demand:

      1. Rehabilitation can not enforced
        • Discontinuation of all new sanction rules. The human right to freely choose a doctor must not be undermined!
        • Inclusion of representatives of the people concerned-initiatives correspond to ILO Convention 122 regarding labour market polotics, Article 3.
        • Enhanced support of the people concerned as well as a clear and unambiguous prioritisation of their ideas and possibilities instead of compulsory rehab ordered from above.
        • The people concerned know themselves best when and which method is best for them , because they wan a sustainable success rather than just something quickly.
        • According to “ILO-Convention 128 on benefits of invalidity and old-age or survivors' benefits”, which Austria has ratified, the aim of rehabilitation is stated “to prepare, wherever possible, the resumption of the previous activity or, when this is not possible, to prepare for another employment, which correspond best to the ability and capabilities ;” (Article 1.a) – this is also valid for unskilled labourer! Protection of profession and qualification for all!
      2. Employment services without sanctions on an equal footing

        We demand employment services on equal footing, rights to choose for job seekers in accordance with ILO-Convention 122 (1) – the right to freely choose a full and as productive as possible employment – and a removal of all possibilities of sanctions in the AIVG.

        Instead we opt for self determination, recognition and consultation on equal footing.

        Sanctions endanger or thwart the cooperative character of the “Case Management” and so it’s chance for success. Sanctions act frightening, demotivating and occasionally traumatising: “

        A paralysing effect can be observed as a result of sanctions more often than an “activating” effect. Only in a few cases sanctions increase the resignative willingness to adapt to official expectations, which however does not raise hopes of improved chances in the labour market.” (Study of Hans-Böckler Stiftung on effects of sanctions) Sanctions do not only endanger health – according to a survey 30% are afraid of the next date with AMS and 30% get health problems prior to an AMS compulsory course – but may in the worst case lead to suicide!

      3. Informative self determination

        Establishment, processing, passing on and destroying of data must conform to the rules of strict use for a specific purpose, data thrift as well as avoidance of data under the principle of the informational self determination. Especially must the relationship of trust to medical doctors not be endangered through the unquestioned passing on of medical reports!

      Further Information:

      Abbreviations:

      AGG Arbeit-und-Gesundheit-Gesetz 2010 - Work and Health Act 2010
      AlVG Arbeitslosenversicherungsgesetz 1977 - Unemployment Insurance Law 1977
      BGBl Bundesgesetzblatt - Federal Law Gazette, available at https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Bgbl-Auth/
      ILO International Labour Organization (Agency of UN)
      SRÄG Sozialrechtsänderungsgesetz 2012 - Social LawAmendment Act

           


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