In spring 2008, the Charest government has pledged to reduce by 50 % the gap between the employment rate for people with disabilities and for people without disabilities through the National Strategy for Labour Market Integration and Maintenance of Handicapped people within the next 10 years (1). Five years later, the gap between the employment rates did not change much (2). Two explanations have been brought forward: the chosen incentives are ineffective and workplace discrimination still occurs.
The DEPPI research project has investigated the second explanation by answering the following two questions:
- Does hiring discrimination exist against people with disabilities in the metropolitan areas of Montréal and Quebec ?
- If so, what are the factors that increase the likelihood of hiring discrimination?
In order to answers these two questions, the DEPPI research team is conducting a correspondence test. As of October 14, we have sent 913 identical online job applications – the only difference being the cover letter that signals if the candidate is a people with disabilities or not. Next, we tested the hypothesis that the likelihood of being invited to a job interview does not differ between people with disabilities and people without disabilities.
Our preliminary results suggest that, all other things being equal, there is hiring discrimination against people with disabilities in the metropolitan area of Montréal but not in and around the City of Quebec. Furthermore, the following factors decrease the likelihood of being invited to a job interview for people with disabilities:
- Less than 14 years of work,
- Small companies (fewer than 100 employees),
- Secretary and receptionist jobs.
It is interesting to note that the likelihood of being invited to a job interview does not differ between people with disabilities and people without disabilities when the job is offered by a company having subscribed to an equal access employment program.
For more details, please download the PDF file “Discrimination à l’embauche des personnes ayant des incapacités : résultats préliminaires d’une expérience de terrain au Québec” from the Publications page.
- Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. 2008, “For equal employment opportunities National Strategy for Labour Market Integration and Maintenance of Handicapped people”, Direction générale adjointe des politiques d’emploi, Quebec.
- Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. 2013, “Bilan gouvernemental 2008-2013 – Stratégie nationale pour l’intégration et le maintien en emploi des personnes handicapées“, Direction des politiques d’emploi et de la veille, Québec.
- Bertrand, M. et S. Mullainathan. 2004, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable
Than Lakisha and Jamal ? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination”,
American Economic Review, vol. 94, n. 4, p. 991–1013.