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Disability Law in Germany

Time Distribution :2011-11-10 13:42:56author:Theresia Degener source: view count:0 Friend Comments 0 strip

1. Introduction

This paper seeks to give an overview over the main German disability law.

After some introductory remarks over the German legal system it gives an overview over the three pillars of the social security scheme in Germany and their correlation to the rehabilitation system (1). It then describes the main national measures of support for disabled persons throughout their lifespan.(2) This is followed by some data from the Federal Statistics Office and other public sources on public expenditure and numbers of disabled persons (3). At last, the paper gives an overview over the status of discrimination law as it relates to disabled persons in Germany (4). In the concluding remarks the social security system and its benefits for disabled persons and the discrimination law are evaluated (5). Other areas of disability law, such as the law of legal competency, civil and criminal commitment, euthanasia and sterilization and protection laws for adults living in institutions are not dealt with in this paper, because they go beyond the scope of this paper.

2. National Legal Framework Regarding the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities

2.1. German law in general

German law is divided into public law and private law as the two main branches of law and belongs to the so called civil law system of legal traditions. The latter means that the main sources of law are parliamentary legal acts and not case law. The question of private or public law determines i.e. the jurisdiction of the court and the effect of constitutional rights. Whereas public law questions are allocated to the constitutional or administrative or social or financial or criminal courts, private law questions are allocated to the ordinary courts. Whereas constitutional rights have direct effect in all fields of public law, they have only indirect effect in private law.

Disability Law can be found in both branches of law. Social law – which contains all provisions on rehabilitation and other social services for persons with disabilities – is part of public law. There are both, public and private anti-discrimination laws. Guardianship law and legal capacity law are mainly private law. Criminal law relating to disability belongs to public law.

There are two special acts on persons with disabilities ( rehabilitation law and equality law) otherwise provisions relating to disability can be found in all areas of law: constitutional law, civil law, criminal law, administrative law, social law, guardianship law, mental health law etc. The provisions are scattered among the acts regulating that field of law and they are not summarized in one comprehensive act on disability.

2.2. Social security system in Germany

The German social security system can be divided into three pillars:

(1) Social Insurance, (2) Compensation and (3) Social assistance and support. The last two pillars are tax funded, whereas pillar (1) is funded by national / social insurance contributions.

2.2.1. Social Insurance System

The Social Insurance System in Germany comprises five different national insurance programs: Pension Insurance (Social Code Book VI)[1] , Health Insurance (Social Code Book V),[2] Occupational Accidence Insurance (Social Code Book VII)[3], Unemployment Insurance (Social Code Book III)[4] and Long-term Care Insurance (Social Code Book XI)[5].

The main social benefits of the pension insurance are: old – age pension, reduced earning capacity pension and surviving dependants’ pension. Rehabilitation benefits are also provided by the pension insurance program.

With a few exceptions all employees pay compulsory contributions to the state pension fund – as do trainees, disabled persons working in sheltered workshops, people on military or civilian service and people doing a year of voluntary community or environmental service. Some self-employed persons (those without employees and who work for one client only) have to pay contributions, too.

Statutory health insurance covers health related treatment in and outside hospitals, sickness benefits (after six weeks of sickness during which the employer has to continue to pay the salary), home services, rehabilitation benefits, maternity benefits and social therapy (for insured persons who have a severe mental impairment). All employees with an annual income below a certain limit (in 2005 this was 46,800 EUR) are automatically and compulsory insured. In addition other groups are included in the national health insurance scheme: students, old-age pensioners, persons with disabilities in sheltered workshops or on employment promotion schemes, family members (children and non-working spouses). There is also private health insurance available, mainly for those who earn more than the annual income limt or who run their own business.

Occupational Accident Insurance (Social Code Book VII) protects all employees and their families in cases of work related accidents and occupational illnesses. In addition to employees the following persons are also covered: farmers, students, chidren in pre-school and school, people helping in the scene of an accident, civil defence and emergency rescue workers, Blood and organ donors, volunteers in some voluntary activity. The main benefits are: Payment for full medical treatment, occupational integration assistance, social integration assistance, rehabilitaton benefits, cash benefits to the insured and their surviving dependents and long-term care, if necessary

Unemployment Insurance (Social Code Book III) provides benefits to job seekers and employees. There is a whole range of benefits available, including integration and rehabilitation benefits for persons with disabilities. In cases of unemployment there are two types of unemployment benefits. Social Law Code III provides income replacement benefits which substitute the former salary. The amount and duration of payment depends on the former salary, on the age of the beneficiary and on the period of contributory employment within the last three years prior to unemployment. Income replacement benefits amount to 60 – 65% of the net assesed earning within the last year of employment. While drawing unemployment benefits the federal employment agency covers the contributions to health insurance, long-term care insurance and pension insurance. The shortest period of entitlement to income replacement benefits is six months the longest period is eighteen months.

After this period has expired unemployed persons can apply for unemployment benefits according to Social Code Book II[6] which is a form of social assistance (pure welfare benefit) and income related. The benefit is not based on the former salary but is a need – based lump sum. In 2006 this was 345 EUR in West Germany and 331 EUR in East Germany for a single person.

Long Term Care Insurance (Social Code Book XI) is the youngest scheme being introduced into German law only in 1995 whereas the other insurance programs where adopted more than 100 years ago. It provides cash or inkind benfits for personal assistance services (nursing care etc.) at home or at institutions. All persons covered by statutory or private health insurance must also contribute to long term insurance. A person is eligible if he / she requires frequent or substantial help with normal day-to-day activities on a long term basis (that is six months or longer). Help must be needed in four different areas – personal hygiene, eating, mobility and house-keeping. Not all persons in need of personal assistance are eligible but only those who fall into one of three care levels. Care Level I requires an average of at least 90 minutes daily need for personal assistance in different areas. Care Level III requires an average of at least five hours daily need for personal assistance. In 2006 regular cash benefits for in home personal assistance at care level I amount to 205 EUR per month, whereas at care level III regular cash benefits amount to 665 EUR per month. Cash benefits means that the allowance is given to the recipient and he or she can pay family members, friends or other persons for their assistance services. Inkind benefits means that the benefits are payed to a professional service provider who delivers the personal assistance to the recipient. In 2006 regular inkind benefits for inhome personal assistance amount to 384 EUR per month at care level I and to 1.432 EUR per month at care level III. Regular inkind benefits for institutional care amount to 1.432 EUR per month for all care levels.

In addition to cash or inkind institutional or inhome care / personal assistance long-term care insurance provides aids, such as a special bed which facilitate long-term care, allowances for modifying the home to make it more accessible, free nursing care courses for relatives and volunteer assistants, arrangements for holiday stand-ins, and social security insurance for assistants.

2.2.2. Social Compensation System

The compensation system provides benefits to victims of injury under circumstances for which the state takes responsibility. Surviving dependents of the victim may also claim compensation subject to certain requirements being met.

Compensation benefits are provided to the following groups:

- war victims [7]

- (German) victims of violent crime[8]

- People injured in the course of military or civilian service [9]

- People whose health has been damaged through inoculation - related complications [10]

- People who were imprisoned on political grounds after 8 May 1945 in the Soviet occupational zone, the Soviet Sector of Berlin or in any area specified in Article 1 of the Federal Displaced Persons Act [11] and whose health was impaired as a result.

- People who were imprisoned on the basis of an unlawful sentence under the SED regime (Socialist Unity Party of the former German Democratic Republic) and who suffer lasting disability as a rsult of their imprisonment.

Compensation laws cover a comprehensive range of benefits, including medical treatment, pensions, rehabilitation benefits, long-term assistance, rehabilitation services and allowances for disability-related expenses (i.e. for blind persons).

2.2.3. Social Assistance and Support

The third pillar of the German social security system is comprised of various programs designed to support families with children, students, children and young persons with or without parents (child welfare), as well as persons with disabilities. Other programs protect mothers or provide housing benefits and social welfare to poor people.

Child benefits [12] include a monthly child allowance and a tax – deduction for child-care for all parents. Working Mothers receive maternity pay and maternity benefit and are protected against dismissal and have a right to protection against health and safety hazards at the workplace. All mothers are entitled to medical care. [13] Working parents who take leave from work are protected against dismissal and can claim child-raising allowances.[14]

Education Benefits in form of monthly allowances on a loan basis are given to German students at schools and universities whose parents do not earn more than a certain amount of salary.[15]

Housing benefits in form of an allowance is granted to Germans and foreigners if their rent or mortgage payment exceeds their financial means.[16]

Parents and children in need of educational social services receive social benefits under the Social Code Book VIII,[17] which is also called the Children and Youth Assistance Act.[18] It covers a wide range of benefits such as foster care, pre-school, education counceling, etc. but also gives some police power to the youth agency which must intervene if the child is threatened by violence or neglect. Among other benefits, Social Code Book VIII provides rehabilitation benefits in form of integration assistance to psycho-socially disabled young persons.

Social Welfare (Social Assistance) provides a last safety net to protect people from poverty, social exclusion and hardship. It helps people who are unable to meet their own needs and lack sufficient entitlement under other insurances and welfare programes that come before it. A major law reform took place in 2003. The main laws are now Social Code Book XII [19] and Social Code Book II.[20] One of the main principles of this law is the principle of subsidiarity, which means that the benefits are meant as a last resort. They are income related and are mainly provided only after all other “safety nets” fail and the individual recipient is unable to help him- or herself. Under the new law there are seven types of social assistance: assistance towards living expenses,[21] need-based pension supplement in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity, assistance towards health care, rehabilitation benefits in form of integration assistance for disabled persons, assistance to long-term care, assistance in overcoming special social difficulties, assistance in other circumstances. Benefits may be provided in cash or inkind or in form of personal services (counceling).

2.3. The Rehabilitation system

Rehabilitation for persons with disabilities is regulated by a large number of acts, the major frame-legislation is Social Code Book IX (SGB IX) [22] which was adopted in 2001 as a reform law. In § 1 SGB IX three main goals of the new rehabilitation law are set out: it seeks to foster self-determination and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and to prevent and counteract discrimination. Rehabilitation law cannot be fitted in one of the three pillars of the German social security system because programs in all pillars provide rehabilitation benefits. The rehabilitation benefits can be devided into three categories: medical rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation and social rehabilitation. In order to manifest the legal reform vocationial and social rehabilitation are now called occupational integration assistance[23] and social integration assistance.[24] However, the author of this paper sticks to the old terminology because it matches the international terminology in rehabilitation. Medical rehabilitation benefits include: medical and dental treatment, pharmaceuticals and dressing material, therapies, orthopeadic and other technical aids, work tolerance testing and work therapy. Vocational rehabilitation benefits include: assistance to help secure or achieve employment, including accommodations at the workplace and at home, pre-training and basic skills training, vocational training or any educational training that helps secure or achieve employment, other forms of employment including sheltered workshops. Social rehabilitation benefits include: special-education for pre-school children, measures to assist the individual to communicate, institutional care, measures to support living in the community.

Institutional rehabilitation facilities encompass vocational youth training, vocational retraining centres, vocational training centres, vocational rehabilitation clinics, integration projects and sheltered workshops.

Severely disabled persons with a degree of disability of 50% receive additional benefits or legal protection. They are specially protected against dismissal and are eligible for additional paid leave (usually five working days). They also fall under the quota system. Any public or private employer with more than 20 jobs to fill is required to reserve 5% of them for severly disabled persons. Some federal agencies are required to reserve up to 6% of their jobs. A compensatory levy must be paid for each reserved place not assigned to a severely disabled worker. The levy is scaled according to the employer’s compliance rate and may vary from 105 EUR to 260 EUR per month and per vacant placement.

Severely disabled persons are also eligible for tax concessions, free public transport, reduced vehicle taxes, special parking facilities and exemption from radio and television licence fees.

3. Main national measures throughout the lifespan of a persons with disabilities

3.1. Disabled children

Disabled children are entitled to early intervention and early support in so called “Frühförderstellen” or social pediatric facilities. These are community – based or institutional interdisciplinary facilities which provide diagnosis and therapy to disabled children. Early support (Frühförderung) is usually provided during the first six years of the disabled child’s life. It might be provided either as a medical rehabilitation benefit (§§ 26 – 32 SGB IX and § 43 a SGB V) under the statutory health insurance or as a social rehabilitation benefit ( §§ 55, 56 SGB IX and §§ 53, 54 SGB XII or § 35 a SGB VIII) in the context of social assistance.

In addition to early intervention, all disabled children are entitled to medical and paramedical (physio therapy etc) treatment as well as technical aids (special beds, wheelchairs, protheses, etc.) under the statutory health insurance. Most disabled children are insured via their parents. Non-working spouses and children are insured without charge. Therapy and technical aids must be prescribed by a doctor, be medically necessary and have direct effect on the disability of the child. The issue of what is related to disability and to general educational needs of the child has been dealt with by large number of court cases.[25]

Disabled children who are health insured are automatically long-term care- insured. Thus, if they are in need of personal assistance they are entitled to benefits under the long-term-care insurance. However, the amount of care they need must be disability – related and it must exceed the amount of care a non-disabled child of similar age needs.

All children in Germany are entitled to pre-school when they have reached the age of three. (§ 24 SGB VIII) Disabled children have to be provided, too. There are many special pre -schools for disabled children in Germany, but increasingly, disabled children are integrated in regular pre-schools in Germany. If they need additional special care in the regular setting, they are entitled to rehabilitation benefits (integration assistance) under the social assistance scheme (§ 53 SGB XII or § 35 a SGB III). However, there is no substantive right for disabled children to integration into regular pre-school, thus it is often difficult for their parents to find a placement.

3.2. Disabled learners

When children have reached the age of six, their parents are under legal obligation to send them to school for ten years at least. The first four years are primary education. Secondary education starts with grade five. Secondary education is extremely differentiated in Germany. There are three categories of regular schools: Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium. Gymnasium has twelve grades and leads to high school diploma (Abitur) which is a pre-condition to enter university in Germany. Hauptschulen and Realschulen have ten grades and lead to main or middle school diplomas. The latter opens up the opportunity to go to a university of applied studies (engineer school, social work school, etc.) In addition to regular schools there are many special schools in Germany, which most disabled children attend. Special schools are categorized into different disability types[26] and usually offer only Hauptschul-diplomas, though there are a few boarding schools for physically disabled children which also offer Realschul- and Gymnasium-Diplomas.

Integration of disabled children into mainstream education in Germany is at a very low level. While in 2002 the number of children in special schools was 429.440 only 65.804 children received special education in regular schools.[27] In most cases only primary schools open up for disabled children and most often only for physically disabled children. At secondary school level, integration of disabled children is a rare exemption. Increasingly children of migrant workers or other ethnic and linguistic background are assigned to special schools for learning disabled students.

School law is regional law and while all sixteen regional school laws have some programatic provisions on integrated education as the general goal none of the school laws provide disabled children with an entitlement to integrated education.

The issue of a constitutional right to integrated education has been dealt with by the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany in 1997. The case involved a disabled girl who had been denied admittance to a regular secondary school because she was using a wheelchair and because she needed some special education services. The court decided that a total exclusion from the mainstream education may amount to discrimination under the equality clause of Art. 3 (3) Sentence 2 Basic Law, but that compensatory special education (seperate but equal education) is in line with the equality clause if based on a lack of resources for integrated education.[28]

If a disabled pupil is accepted into mainstream school s/he is entitled to medical and social rehabilitation benefits (technical aids, therapy, integration assistance, ramps, etc.) under the statutory health insurance and social assistance scheme. (SGB V, SGB XII, SGB VIII) Personal assistance services is provided under the long-term care insurance, as stated above. (SGB XI) Thus, while the school usually has to provide (special education) teachers, all other needs of a disabled child are covered (theoretically) by the social security system of Germany. The same holds true for disabled university students.

3.3. Disabled adults (living arrangements inside or outside institutions)

Living arrangements for disabled adults in Germany exist inside and outside institutions. In 2000 there were 4.107 institutions for disabled adults in Germany whith 160 346 beds.[29]

For institutional living arrangements there are benefits available under the long-term insurance scheme (SGB XI) as well as under the social assistance and support program (SGB XII). The latter is however an income related program, which means that benefits are only paid if the income of the disabled person or his/her parents does not exceed a certain ceiling. However, in order to exculpate parents of disabled children from life-long financial burdens, their share was reduced to EUR 26 per month for institutional care. The same does not apply to living-arrangement outside institutions. Thus, if the disabled person decides to live in a community –based setting and if the (non-income related) benefits from long-term-care insurance are not sufficient to cover needs for personal or other assistance, benefits under the social assistance program (SGB XII) are only provided if his or her parents’ income is below a certain income ceiling.

3.4. Persons with disabilities in employment

Disabled persons who seek employment in the open labor market are entitled to all vocational services and benefits under SGB III which are available to non disabled persons. These include vocational counseling, placement services, financial help to apply for a job (travel costs for interviews), vocational training courses, financial help to set up an independent business or enroll in vocational education. In addition there are special support measures for integrating disabled persons into the open labor market. These include benefits to maintain or to achieve a job, mobility assistance, training courses, education programmes and additional social, medical or psychological assistance. (§ 33 SGB IX, §§ 97 – 102 SGB III). Financial assistance as a substitute for salary is provided during the time of vocational education. (§ 44 SGB IX , § 160 SGB III, § 20 SGB VI). The amount depends on the duration and the salary of former employment or is need-based.

Of particular importance is a benefit called work assistance. (§ 33 SGB IX). This means that the employer or the disabled employee may hire a third person who assists the disabled person in his job. The salary for this work assistant is provided by the agency for labor for a period of three years. Other important work- related rehabilitation benefits are technical equipment or accommodations at the workplace or in the private home of the disabled employee. These include financial assistance to buy a car and alter it according to the disability condition of the worker. While the alteration costs are always covered as a rehabilitation benefit the costs of purchase will be provided if the income of the disabled person is below a certain ceiling.

If employment in the open labor market is not possible, the rehabilitation scheme in Germany provides two alternative forms of employment: integration projects and sheltered workshops. An integration project (§ 132 SGB IX) is an enterprise which operates in the open labor market but which is subsidized by the government because it employs and cares for a large number of severely disabled persons. 25% to 30 % of its employees must be severely disabled. The employees receive normal salaries. In 2000 there were 330 integration projects in Germany which offered jobs for 6.500 disabled workers.

Sheltered workshops are subsidized enterprises which provide work opportunities for severely disabled outside the open labor market. (§§ 136, 137 SGB IX) A severely disabled person who cannot find work in the open labor market or in an integration project is entitled to placement in a sheltered workshop. Thus, sheltered workshops must admit placement to severely disabled persons in their region, unless their behavior is dangerous to others or unless they are incapable of minimal job performance. The “salary” in a sheltered workshop lies between 26 EUR and 323 EUR per month. The costs of placement and care in a sheltered workshop are either provided by the agency for labor or under the social assistance scheme.

4. Data from the Federal Statistics Office and other sources

It is difficult to measure and describe the amount of social benefits and/ or financial support to disabled persons under the German social security and assistance scheme. First, there is no statistic on the number of disabled persons in Germany, only the number of severely disabled persons – that is a person having a degree of 50 % disability or more – is counted. At the end of 2003 the number of severely disabled persons in Germany was 6 638 892.[30]

Secondly, the data on social public expenditure does not differentiate between recipients as to their disability status. Thus, it is difficult to say how much money is being spent on disabled persons. For instance, many disabled persons live on public assistance by receiving (at least) two kinds of benefits : subsistence payments and integration assistance for disabled persons. Only the latter rehabilitation benefit are exclusively for persons with disabilities. The gross expenditure on public assistance in 2004 was 26.351 EUR mn of which 9.981 mn EUR were spent on subsistence payment and 11.481 mn EUR were spent on integration assistance.[31]

The overall social expenditure ration in Germany for 2005 was 31 % which amounted to a total social expenditure of 695 656 mn EUR which was 8.444 EUR per capita.[32] Overall Germany spent 56,7 % of its public budget on social security and support in 2004.[33] The gross domestic product of Germany in 2005 was 2 241,00 bn EUR.[34]

Relating to the employment situation of severely disabled persons it is interesting to note that in 2004 the number of employed severely disabled persons was 764.701 and the number of unemployed severely disabled was 173.939 whereas the overall number of unemployed persons in Germany was 4.381.000.[35]

The average employment quota fulfilled by private employers in 2004 was 3,6 % and by public employers 5,6%. More than a third of all employers who are under the quota obligation to hire severely disabled persons on 5 % of their jobs did not hire any severely disabled person in 2004.[36] This resulted in a high income of compensatory levy payments. In 2004 the amount was 573,78 mn EUR. Most of this money was spent on integration benefits to employers (salary subsidies for hired disabled persons or work place accommodations) to severely disabled employees (cr subsidies, other technical aids, etc.) or on integration projects and sheltered workshops.

5. Efforts to Combat Discrimination

Disability discrimination in Germany is currently expressively prohibited by federal constitutional and federal statutory law as well as by regional state constitutional and regional state statutory law. All sixteen regional states of Germany have adopted equality laws for persons with disabilities within the last seven years. They are similar to the federal Act on the Equalisation of Disabled Persons of 2002 (BGG) which will be described in detail below and thus, the regional laws are omitted from this paper.[37]

Most of these laws are the result of recent legal reforms and have been proposed by the Forum of Disabled Lawyers (Forum behinderter Juristinnen und Juristen) as early as 1995.[38] An incentive to enact anti-discrimination law in Germany was set by several European laws of the European Communities, i.e. the so called equality directives: Council Directive 2000/43 /EC of 29 June 2000, implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin; Council Directive 2000/ 78/ EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation; Council Directive 2002 / 73 /EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 26/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions; Council Directive 2004 / 113 / EC of 13 December 2004 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.

5.1. Constitutional Law

The Basic Law (Grundgesetz)[39] of 1949 prohibits disability discrimination in Art. 3 (3) Sentence 2 according to which no person shall be disfavored because of disability. This constitutional amendment was adopted in 1994. With respect to employment, the provision binds the state and its agencies when acting as an employer. In addition Art. 3 GG binds private employers indirectly via mittelbare Drittwirkung.[40] It was supposed to be a plain signal for the German public, to set focus on disability-based discrimination in everyday life.[41]

Another important constitutional provision for disabled persons is Article 20 (1) with contains the principle of social welfare state (Sozialstaatsprinzip). [42] The Federal Constitutional Court has interpreted this provision with relation to disabled persons.[43] Accordingly, the state has the duty to establish minimum requirements that disabled persons can live a decent life. It has to endeavor to integrate disabled to the greatest extent possible into society and ensure adequate care in the family or in institutions.

5.2. Social Law

The Ninth Book of the Social Code of 2001 revised the whole German rehabilitation law which was scattered over several statutes.. According to the legislator’s intent, the new rehabilitation law is no longer based on care and charity (Fürsorge) but on self-determination and equal participation of disabled person in the community.[44] One of the legal reforms of the rehabilitation law was the inclusion of an anti-discrimination provision.

§ 81 (2) SGB IX prohibits employment discrimination against persons with severe disabilities. It provides that no employer may unfairly treat a severely disabled employee.[45] This subsection was adopted with the intention to transpose framework directive 2000/78/EG of 27 November 2000 into German law.[46]

Another landmark rehabilitation law reform of SGB IX is that it contains provisions which pursue the equalization of opportunities for disabled women in the field of rehabilitation. Several sections of SGB IX mention disabled women explicitly. To consider disabled women’s needs in rehabilitation is stated as the act’s goal in the beginning.[47] Disabled women’s wishes and choices need to be considered when the rehabilitation agencies decide about benefits and delivery modes. The same holds true for disabled parents.[48] With respect to vocational rehabilitation the law states that disabled women are granted equal chances in employment by offering adequate, community-based and part-time rehabilitation services.[49] Disabled women’s organizations have a right to participate in the preparation of general recommendations of the rehabilitation agencies (gemeinsame Empfehlungen) which are a kind of administrative regulations.[50] As a new rehabilitation benefit for disabled women, self defense training has been added to rehabilitation sports.[51]

The first and tenth book of the Social Code (SGB I & SGB X) of 1975 and 1980 prohibit disability discrimination in certain areas of administration. The relevant provisions were amended in 2001 as a package together with Social Code Book IX. § 17 (2) SGB I and § 19 (1) SGB X provide that hearing impaired persons have a right to use sign language when communicating with social agencies and when they utilize social services. The costs have to be carried by the social agencies.[52]

In 2006 alongside the adoption of a general anti-discrimination act in civil law, several books of the Social Code were amended by an anti-discrimination clause. Social Code Book I (SGB I) was amended by § 33 c ( prohibition of discrimination) which says that in the context of claiming social rights no one may be discriminated against on the basis of race, ethnic origin or disability.[53]

Social Code Book III (SGB III) was amended in relation to placement service. Accordingly job placement restrictions on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, conscience, disability or sexual orientation put forward by employers may only considered by the labor agency if they are admissible by the General Equal Treatment Act.[54] Social Code Book IV (SGB IV) was amended by an anti-discrimination clause similar to § 33 c of SGB I.[55] However, the prohibition on discrimination in SGB IV covers more grounds than the one in SGB I. It also encompasses sex, age and sexual orientation.

5.3. Administrative Law: Act on the Equalization of Disabled Persons 2002

The Act on the Equalization of Disabled Persons (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz – BGG) of 2002 is a public law with some links to civil law. When it came into force on 1 May 2002 it was celebrated as a milestone in the disability movement’s fight for equality. The act was indeed drafted by the Forum of Disabled Lawyers whose members belong to the disability movement. The original draft was, however, substantially altered by the government before it was introduced into parliament.

The adopted BGG contains provisions relating to:

- transposing the constitutional disability discrimination clause into federal administration,[56]

- equalization of disabled women,[57]

- recognition of sign language,[58]

- design of internetservices and administrative forms for visually impaired,[59]

- access provisions for visually impaired with respect to elections,[60]

- guarantee of barrierfreedom, i.e. in the area of buildings and transportation,[61]

- goal agreements,

- power of attorney for disability organizations and “class actions”,[62]

- abolishment of discriminating provisions in occupational regulations and

- disability ombudsperson,[63]

- transportation.[64]

The act introduces a new statute into German law (BGG) and alters 52 existing federal statutes. Three administrative regulations have been adopted so far.[65]

Goal agreements (Zielvereinbarungen) are new legal instruments introduced into German law.[66]

They are contracts between disability organizations on the one hand and public or private enterprises which do business in Germany on the other hand. They contain a detailed plan to achieve barrierfree access for disabled persons as customers in the economy (including public or private transportation).[67] Goal agreements can be negotiated on restaurants, supermarkets, automatic machines, goods and services but also on employment sites and conditions. It is up to German disability organizations to negotiate the object of a goal agreement. They have a subjective right to demand the beginning of negotiations.

As an annex to BGG occupational regulations in other statutes are altered. Art. 4–44 change discriminating provisions which stated that an occupational license or admittance may be denied because of disability. The relevant provisions now state that only health problems can be legitimate grounds for denial. All occupational regulations are covered, encompassing various professions from medical doctors and lawyers over chimney sweepers to controllers of poultry meat.

5.4. General Equal Treatment Act (2006) (Civil Law) Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz (AGG)

The General Equal Treatment Act of 2006 (AGG)belongs to the sphere of private law and is supposed to transpose all four EU equality directives. It was enacted rather late, since European Race directive demanded transposition by July 2003 and Germany has been sentenced by the European High Court for failing to meet that deadline. [68]

The legislative process of this law took particularly long and was accompanied by an intense public debate on the pros and cons of anti – discrimination law. It is Germany’s first comprehensive anti-discrimination law covering race, ethnic origin, sex, religion, conscience, disability age and sexual orientation.[69] Before, the German law only prohibited discrimination on some of these grounds in the constitution, whereas statutory law on discrimination existed only with regard to sex and disability. The AGG prohibits discrimination in the field of employment and in the context of provision of goods and services to the general public as well as private insurances.

5.5. The definition of disability in German disability law

German law has various definitions of disability, though the main definition is the one contained in SGB IX. Social Code Book IX contains a new definition for the whole social law. The BGG adopted this definition ( § 3 BGG). Disability is defined as a status of physical, mental or psychological deviation from the state of being which is typical for the respective age. There has to be a high prognosis that the status lasts for more than six month. Because of this status participation in the life of society must be hampered.[70]

While the SGB IX protects and covers presently and potentially disabled persons[71] only severely disabled persons are protected against employment discrimination.

In order to be protected by the anti-discrimination clause by SGB IX a disabled person must be regarded severely disabled. Severely disabled is a person who has a disability of 50%.[72] Persons with 30% disability may apply for being equalized with severely disabled persons.[73] The percentage of a given disability is determined according to a list of impairments and diseases[74] and according to guidelines prepared by a group of medical and legal experts.[75] Less severely disabled persons are protected against employment discrimination by the AGG.

The new disability definition of SGB IX was meant to transpose the WHO definition of disability in the context of ICF into German law.[76]

5.6. The definition of discrimination in German disability law

All federal disability discrimination laws do not use the term discrimination but unfavorable treatment. Thus, positive disability discrimination is allowed.

§ 81 (2) SGB IX does not define „unfavorable treatment“ but refers to the AGG. § 3 AGG distinguishes between direct and indirect unfavorable treatment and also defines harassment as a form of discrimination. Direct discrimination is defined as less favorable treatment of a person than another similarly situated person is , was or will be treated based on the covered grounds (race, sex, disability etc.). Sex-discrimination also covers less favorable treatment of a woman because of pregnancy or motherhood.[77] Indirect discrimination is defined as to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons having a particular feature covered by the law (age, race, sex, etc) at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, unless that particular provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.[78] Harassment is a form of discrimination when unwanted conduct related to any of the covered grounds takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humilating or offensive environment. Sexual harassment also includes unwanted touching, display of pornographic pictures and others.[79]

Another definition of disability – based discrimination is entailed in the Act on the Equalization of Disabled Persons (BGG). § 7 defines unfavorable treatment as taking place when, without compelling reason, disabled and non disabled are treated differently resulting in direct or indirect infringement of disabled persons’ equal participation in society.[80]

Remarkably one of the key terms of disability discrimination law around the law[81] – the denial of reasonable accommodation as a form of discrimination – cannot be found in the German definitions of discrimination. In this regard, the German law is ambigous. Severely disabled workers have a right to reasonable accommodation against their employer and this right is contained in the same section as the anti-discrimination provision is (§ 81 SGB IX). According to § 81 (4) disabled employees have a subjective right that the employer provides them with a job in which they can utilize and improve their skills and knowledge to the fullest extent possible. In addition disabled employees have a right to adjusted work site, work place, work organization and technical equipment according to their disability specific needs.[82] This right to reasonable accommodation was already contained in the old Severely Disabled Act which preceded SGB IX. Thus, the right to reasonable accommodation has existed in German disability law as a social entitlement long before discrimination law was adopted. Further, neither the AGG nor the BGG refer to it in their respective definitions and thus it is unclear whether the denial of reasonable accommodation can regarded a form of discrimination under German law. It remains to be seen how the courts solve the issue once it is brought before a judge.

6. Concluding Remarks

The German social security system provides a large number of support measures and benefits to disabled persons. Their correlation to the national economic development is difficult to measure, because exact data on how much money is spent on disabled persons is lacking. German disability organisations[83] criticize the government for not providing enough personal assistance services to disabled persons, since the long-term-care insurance provides insufficient benefits and only to those in high need of care. Thus, many disabled persons in need of personal assistance services have to rely on social assistance benefits which are income related.

Another criticism of the German disability movement relates to the high number of institutionalized persons and to the fact, that education and rehabilitation of disabled persons mostly take place in segregated institutions. Germany has a highly developed system of special education schools and separate institutional rehabilitation facilities which exclude disabled persons from the mainstream of society. Currently, there is no legal right to integrated education in Germany. The new rehabilitation law emphasizes self-determination and equalization of opportunities for disabled persons, but implementation of this reform law takes place only slowly. The biggest problem relating to education is that the law is under the competency of the sixteen regional states and some states have strict rules against the integration of disabled children in regular schools. In addition, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany decided only ten years ago, that the segregated education system can be justified by the separate-but-equal clause. It will take some huge efforts to introduce a truly inclusive education system in Germany.

The German employment quota system is only partly being implemented. Many employers choose to pay the compensatory levy instead of hiring severely disabled persons. The advantage of this is, however, that the government (agency of labor and integration offices) has a large fund available which can be spent on support measures for disabled persons. For instance, the well appreciated integration projects and work assistants as well as accommodations at the workplace are financed through this fund.

For a long time Germany has been a developing country with relation to discrimination law. During the last decade, however, a large number of anti-discrimination laws have been adopted in public as well as private law. Implementation of these laws remains slow, however. Almost no case law exists yet. With respect to some key components of disability discrimination law, the German disability law is ambigous or underdeveloped. One component is the issue of reasonable accommodation. While the social law (SGB IX) contains a substantive right to reasonable accommodation for severely disabled workers against their employers, it is not clear whether denial of reasonable accommodation amounts to discrimination. And while many modern disability discrimination laws protect against disability –based discrimination relating to past, present, future and imputed disability, this is not the case in Germany. Thus, there is still room for improvement of German disability law.

Note: Professor Theresia Degener, is currently professor of law, administration and organization at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany (since 1998) (Evangelische Fachhochschule Rheinland Westfalen Lippe) and an extraordinary professor of law at the law faculty of the University of Western Cape, South Africa (2005 – 2008).


[1] Sozialgesetzbuch VI

[2] Sozialgesetzbuch V

[3] Sozialgesetzbuch VII

[4] Sozialgesetzbuch III

[5] Sozialgesetzbuch XI

[6] Sozialgesetzbuch II

[7] Federal War Victims Relief Act ( Bundesversorgungsgesetz)

[8] Crime Victims Compensation Act (Opferentschädigungsgesetz)

[9] Soldiers Pension Act (Soldatenversorgungsgesetz) and Civilian Service Act (Zivildienstgesetz)

[10] Protection Against Infections Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz)

[11] Bundesvertriebenengesetz

[12] regulated in the Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz) and Federal Child Benefit Act (Bundeskindergeldgesetz)

[13] The main laws are Working Mothers Act (Mutterschutzgesetz) and the Reich Insurance Act (Reichsversicherungsordnung).

[14] Federal Child Raising Allowance Act (Bundeserziehungsgeldgesetz)

[15] Federal Education Support Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz)

[16] Housing Benefit Act and Housing Benefit Ordinance (Wohngeldgesetz und Wohngeldverordnung)

[17] Sozialgesetzbuch VIII

[18] Kinder- und Jugendhilfegesetz

[19] Sozialgesetzbuch XII

[20] Sozialgesetzbuch II. The benefits under this law were described supra.

[21] This is the main benefit for the poor. In 2005 the standard monthly rate in West Germany was 345 EUR and in East Germany the standard rate was 331 EUR. The sixteen regional states of the Federal Republic of Germany have descretion to set different standard rates.

[22] Sozialgesetzbuch IX

[23] in German: „Teilhabe am Arbeitsleben“. The English translation is taken from a government brochure called: Social security at a glance by the former Federal Ministry of Health and Social Security, Berlin 2005.

[24] in German: „Teilhabe am Leben in der Gemeinschaft“

[25] Jan Castendiek / Günther Hoffmann: Das Recht der behinderten Menschen. 2. Auflg. 2005, Baden-Baden: Nomos S. 93.

[26] For example: schools for blind, deaf, or deaf-blind students, schools for physical, intellectually or emotionally disabled students.

[27] Bericht der Bundesregierung über die Lage behinderter Menschen und die Entwicklung ihrer Teilhabe, Deutscher Bundestag, 15. Wahlperiode, Drucksache 15/4575 of 16.12.2004 page 64.

[28] Bundesverfassungsgericht of 8 October 1996, Europäische Grundrechtszeitschrift 1997, page 586.

[29] Bericht der Bundesregierung über die Lage behinderter Menschen und die Entwicklung ihrer Teilhabe, Deutscher Bundestag, 15. Wahlperiode, Drucksache 15/4575 of 16.12.2004 page 128.

[30] Statisches Bundesamt, Statistisches Jahrbuch 2006, Tabelle 8.19

[31] Bundesstatistikamt (10 December 2006)

[32] (10 December 2006)

[33] ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] BIH – Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Integrationsämter und Hauptfürsorgestellen. Jahresbericht 2005/2006. Hilfen für schwerbehinderte Menschen im Beruf. Wiesbaden: Universum, pages 12, 14.

[36] Ibid. Page 11.

[37] For a German overview of the status of regional (and federal) disability equality law see: (5 December 2006).

[38] Forum behinderter Juristinnen und Juristen: Vorschläge für Gleichstellungsvorschriften, Kassel, 1995.

[39] Grundgesetz of 23 May 1949.

[40] This doctrine implies that if a private law provision (such as the law on work contracts) has to be interpreted by a judge, s/he has to take the constitutional rights into account.

[41] See the legislator´s intend in BT-Drs. 12/6323 p. 11 f. On the history of Art. 3 (3) Sentence 2 Basic Law see: Miles-Paul, Initiativen und Mühen, das Diskriminierungsverbot im Grundgesetz zu verankern, in: Begemann/Krawitz, Sonderpädagogik für Nichtbehinderte II, Pfaffenweiler 1994.

[42] Artikel 20 [Verfassungsgrundsätze – Widerstandsrecht]

(1) Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland ist ein demokratischer und sozialer Bundesstaat.

[43] BVerfGE 40, 121 (133).

[44] BT-Drucks. 14/2913 (Entschließung des Bundestages zur Integration behinderter Menschen) and § 1 SGB IX which reads:
㤠1 Selbstbestimmung und Teilhabe in der Gesellschaft (SGB IX)

Behinderte oder von Behinderung bedrohte Menschen erhalten Leistungen nach diesem Buch und den für die Rehabilitationsträgern geltenden Leistungsgesetzen, um ihre Selbstbestimmung und gleichberechtigte Teilhabe am Leben in der Gesellschaft zu fördern, Benachteiligungen zu vermeiden oder ihnen entgegenzuwirken. Dabei wird den besonderen Bedürfnissen behinderter und von Behinderung bedrohter Frauen und Kinder Rechnung getragen.“

[45] The provision reads in German:
㤠81 Pflichten des Arbeitgebers und Rechte schwerbehinderter Menschen (SGB IX)

(1) ....

(2) Arbeitgeber dürfen schwerbehinderte Beschäftigte nicht wegen ihrer Behinderung benachteiligen. Im Einzelnen gelten hierzu die regeln des Allgemeinen Gleichbehandlungsgesetzes.“

[46] BT-Drucks. 14/5074, p.113; Düwell in: LPK-SGB IX (2002) Rdnr. 1.

[47] §1 SGB IX, see Fn 44.

[48] 㤠9 SGB IX: Wunsch und Wahlrecht der Leistungsberechtigten:

(1) Bei der Entscheidung über die Leistung und bei der Ausführung der Leistung zur Teilhabe wird berechtigten Wünschen der Leistungsberechtigten entsprochen. Dabei wird auch auf die persönliche Lebenssituation, das Alter, das Geschlecht, die Familie sowie die religiösen und weltanschaulichen Bedürfnisse der Leistungsberechtigten Rücksicht genommen; (...)Den besonderen Bedürfnissen behinderter Mütter und Väter bei der Erfüllung ihres Erziehungsauftrages sowie den besonderen Bedürfnissen behinderter Kinder wird Rechnung getragen.“

[49] § 33 SGB IX.

(2) Behinderten Frauen werden gleiche Chancen im Erwerbsleben gesichert, insbesondere durch in der beruflichen Zielsetzung geeignete, wohnortnahe und auch in Teilzeit nutzbaren Angeboten.“

[50] § 13 SGB IX Gemeinsame Empfehlungen:

(6) Die Verbände behinderter Menschen einschließlich (...) der Interessenvertretungen behinderter Frauen (...) werden an den Vorbereitungen der gemeinsamen Empfehlungen beteiligt.(...)“

[51] § 44 SGB IX Ergänzende Leistungen:

(1) Die Leistungen zur medizinischen Rehabilitation und zur Teilhabe am Arbeitsleben (...) werden ergänzt durch (...)

(3.) ärztlich verordneten Rehabilitationssport (...) einschliesslich Übungen für behinderte oder von Behinderung bedrohte Frauen und Mädchen, die der Stärkung des Selbstbewusstseins dienen.“

For the whole issue of disabled women and SGB IX see: Zinsmeister, J. Der lange Weg zur Gleichstellung: behinderte Frauen und das SGB IX, in: STREIT 1/2002, p. 3-10, and Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, Neue Chancen der Gleichstellung durch das SGB IX, Bonn 2003. For further information on the situation of disabled women see: Eva Ullrich, Doppelte Benachteiligung von Frauen überwinden, in: Bundesarbeitsblatt 11/2001, p. 16 ff.

[52] § 17 SGB I [Ausführung der Sozialleistung]

„(2) Hörbehinderte haben das Recht, bei der Ausführung von Sozialleistungen, insbesondere auch bei ärztlichen Untersuchungen und Behandlungen, Gebärdensprache zu verwenden. Die für die Sozialleistung zuständigen Leistungsträger sind verpflichtet, die durch die Verwendung der Gebärdensprache und anderer Kommunikationshilfen entstehenden Kosten zu tragen“.

§ 19 SGB IX [Amtssprache]
“(1) Die Amtssprache ist deutsch. Hörbehinderte Menschen haben das Recht, zur Verständigung in der Amtssprache Gebärdensprache zu verwenden; Aufwendungen für Dolmetscher sind von der Behörde oder dem für die Sozialleistung zuständigen Leistungsträger zu tragen.“

[53] § 33 c SGBI [Benachteiligungsverbot]

„ei der Inanspruchnahme sozialer rechte darf niemand aus Gründen der Rasse, wegen der ethnischen Herkunft oder einer Behinderung benachteiligt werden. Ansprüche können nur insoweit geltend gemacht oder hergeleitet werden, als deren Voraussetzungen und Inhalt durch die Vorschriften der besonderen Teile dieses Gesetzbuchs im Einzelnen bestimmt sind.“

[54] § 36 (2) Sentence 2 SGB III [Grundsätze der Vermittlung]
“Die Agentur für Arbeit darf Einschränkungen, die der Arbeitgeber für eine Vermittlung aus Gründen der Rasse oder wegen der ethnischen Herkunft, der Religion oder Weltanschauung, einer Behinderung oder der sexuellen Identität des Ausbildungssuchenden und Arbeitssuchenden vornimmt, nur berücksichtigen, soweit sie nach dem Allgemeinen Gleichbehandlungsgesetz zulässig sind“.

[55] § 19 a SGB IV [Benachteiligungsverbot]

„Bei der Inanspruchnahme von Leistungen, die den Zugang zu allen Formen und allen Ebenen der Berufsberatung, der Berufsbildung, der beruflichen Weiterbildung, der Umschulung einschließlich der praktischen Berufserfahrung betreffen, darf niemand aus Gründen der Rasse oder wegen der ethnischen Herkunft, des Geschlechts der Religion oder der Weltanschauung, einer Behinderung, des Alters oder der sexuellen Identität benachteiligt werden. Ansprüche können nur insoweit geltend gemacht oder hergeleitet werden, als deren Voraussetzungen und Inhalt durch die Vorschriften der besonderen Teile dieses Gesetzbuchs im Einzelnen bestimmt sind.“

[56] Federal agencies and state agencies which implement federal law have to actively pursue the goal of equalization of opportunities and the prevention of discrimination against disabled persons (§ 7 (1) BGG). They may not discriminate against a disabled person (§ 7 (2) BGG) They have to make their facilities and their communication accessible to disabled persons (§s 8–11 BGG).

[57] § 2 states that the specific needs of disabled women need to be considered in the enforcement of equality between men and women. Positive actions which support the equal rights of disabled women are allowed (§ 2 BGG).

[58] German sign language is officially recognized as a language. Similar communication forms, too. Hearing impaired persons have a right to use this language. If this communication form is necessary when communicating with federal agencies, the latter bears the costs (§ 6 BGG, § 9 BGG).

[59] Internetsites and print forms of federal administrative agencies need to be accessible to disabled persons (§ 11 BGG).

[60] Election material shall be made accessible to visualy impaired persons. Polling stations shall be made accessible (Art. 1a, Art. 2, Art. 3, Art. 45).

[61] New federal buildings have to be accessible. Military buildings are exempt. Other places and public buildings shall be made accessible gradually according to federal construction law (§ 8 BGG).

[62] Some disability organizations can act as representatives of a disabled victim in court. In addition class action suits were introduced by the BGG (§ 12 and § 13 BGG).

[63] The mandate and position of the already existing disability ombudsperson (Behindertenbeauftragter der Bundesregierung) was reinforced (§ 14 and § 15 BGG). It should be noted that the Behindertenbeauftragte choses the translation: “Commissioner for persons with disabilities”.

[64] Transport companies and corporations have to make plans how to make their vehicles and sites accessible to disabled customers (Art. 49–53 BGG).

[65] Relating to:

- the use of sign language and other communication aids in federal administrative procedure (Verordnung zur Verwendung von Gebärdensprache und anderen Kommunikationshilfen im Verwaltungsverfahren nach dem Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, Kommunikationshilfeverordnung – KHV, BGBl. I Nr. 49, p. 2655)

- accessible documents for visually impaired persons in federal administrative procedure (Verordnung zur Zugänglichmachung von Dokumenten für blinde und sehbehinderte Menschen im Verwaltungsverfahren nach dem Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, Verordnung über barrierefreie Dokumente - VBD, BGBl. I Nr. 49 p. 2652)

- barrierfree information technology
Verordnung zur Schaffung barrierefreier Informationstechnik nach dem Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, Barrierfreie Informationstechnik-Verordnung, BITV, BGBl. I Nr. 49, p. 2654.

These regulations can be downloaded from:

[66] Similarly integration agreements were introduced into SGB IX (supra).

[67] The provision reads in German:

§ 5 BGG Zielvereinbarungen:“

(1) Soweit nicht besondere gesetzliche oder verordnungsrechtliche Vorschriften entgegenstehen, sollen zur Herstellung der Barrierefreiheit Zielvereinbarungen zwischen Verbänden, die nach § 13 Abs. 3 anerkannt sind, und Unternehmen oder Unternehmensverbänden der verschiedenen Wirtschaftsbranchen für ihren jeweiligen sachlichen und räumlichen Organisations- oder Tätigkeitsbereich getroffen werden. Die anerkannten Verbände können die Aufnahme von Verhandlungen über Zielvereinbarungen verlangen.

(2) Zielvereinbarungen zur Herstellung von Barrierefreiheit enthalten insbesondere

1. die Bestimmung der Vereinbarungspartner und sonstigen Regelungen zum Geltungsbereich und zur Geltungsdauer

2. die Festlegung von Mindestbedingungen darüber, wie gestaltete Lebensbereiche im Sinne von § 4 künftig zu verändern sind, um dem Anspruch behinderter Menschen auf Zugang und Nutzung zu genügen,

3. den Zeitpunkt oder einen Zeitplan zur Erfüllung der festgelegten Mindestbedingungen.

Sie können ferner eine Vertragsstrafenabrede für den Fall der Nichterfüllung oder des Verzugs enthalten.“

[68] ECJ ruling from 23 February 2006 Case C – 43/05 and ECJ ruling from 29 April 2005 Case C 329 /04.

[69] though not all categories are equally treated throughout the law.

[70] § 2 SGB IX:

(1) Menschen sind behindert, wenn ihre körperliche Funktion, geistige Fähigkeit oder seelische Gesundheit mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit länger als sechs Monate von dem für das Lebensalter typischen Zustand abweichen und daher ihre Teilhabe am Leben in der Gesellschaft beeinträchtigt ist. Sie sind von Behinderung bedroht, wenn die Beeinträchtigung zu erwarten ist.

(2) Menschen sind im Sinne des Teils 2 schwerbehindert, wenn bei ihnen ein Grad der Behinderung von wenigsten 50 vorliegt und sie ihren Wohnsitz, ihren gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt oder ihre Beschäftigung auf einem Arbeitsplatz im Sinne des § 73 rechtmässig im Geltungsbereich dieses Gesetzbuches haben.

(3) Schwerbehinderten Menschen gleichgestellt werden sollen behinderte Menschen mit einem Grad der Behinderung von weniger als 50, aber wenigstens 30, bei denen die übrigen Voraussetzungen des Absatzes 2 vorliegen, wenn sie infolge ihrer Behinderung ohne die Gleichstellung einen geeigneten Arbeitsplatz im Sinne des § 73 nicht erlangen oder nicht behalten können (gleichgestellte behinderte Menschen).

[71] § 1 of SGB IX mentions disabled and persons who are threatened by disability ( behinderte und von Behinderung bedrohte Menschen)

[72] § 2 (2) SGB IX.

[73] § 2 (3) SGB IX.

[74] GdB/MdE-Tabelle zu § 30 Bundesversorgungsgesetz.

[75] Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Sozialordnung (Hg.) Anhaltspunkte für die ärztliche Gutachtertätigkeit im sozialen Entschädigungsrecht und nach dem Schwerbehindertengesetz (1996).

[76] Haines in LPK-SGB § 1 Rdnr. 10.

[77] § 3 AGG [Begriffsbestimmung]
” (1)Eine unmittelbare Benachteiligung liegt vor, wenn eine Person wegen eines in § 1 genannten Gründe eine weniger günstige Behandlung erfährt, als eine andere Person in einer vergleichbaren Situation erfährt, erfahren hat oder erfahren würde. Eine unmittelbare Benachteiligung wegen des Geschlechts liegt in Bezug auf § 2 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 bis 4 auch im Fall einer ungünstigen Behandlung einer Frau wegen Schwangerschaft oder Mutterschaft vor.“

[78] § 3 AGG

“(2) Eine mittelbare Benachteiligung liegt vor, wenn dem Anschein nach neutrale Vorschriften, Kriterien oder Verfahren Personen wegen eines in § 1 genannten Grundes gegenüber anderen Personen in besonderer Weise benachteiligen können, es sei denn, die betreffenden Vorschriften, Kriterien oder Verfahren sind durch ein rechtmäßiges Ziel sachlich gerechtfertigt und die Mittel sind zur Erreichung dieses Ziels angemessen und erforderlich.“

[79] § 3 AGG
“(3) Eine Belästigung ist eine Benachteiligung, wenn unerwünschte Verhaltensweisen, die mit einem in § 1 genannten Grund in Zusammenhang stehen, bezwecken oder bewirken, dass die Würde der betreffenden Person verletzt und ein von Einschüchterungen, Anfeindungen, Erniedrigungen, Entwürdigungen oder Beleidigungen gekennzeichnetes Umfeld geschaffen wird.

(4) Eine sexuelle Belästigung ist eine Benachteiligung in Bezug auf § 2 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 bis 4, wenn ein unerwünschtes, sexuell bestimmtes Verhalten, wozu auch unerwünschte sexuelle Handlungen und Aufforderungen diesen, sexuell bestimmte körperliche Berührungen, Bemerkungen sexuellen Inhalts sowie unerwünschtes Zeigen und sichtbares Anbringen von pornographischen Darstellungen gehören, bezweckt oder bewirkt, dass die Würde der betreffenden Person verletzt wird, insbesondere wenn ein von Einschüchterungen, Anfeindungen, Erniedrigungen, Entwürdigungen oder Beleidigungen gekennzeichnetes Umfeld geschaffen wird.“

[80] § 7 (2) Sentence 2 BGG:
Eine Benachteiligung liegt vor, wenn behinderte und nicht behinderte Menschen ohne zwingenden Grund unterschiedlich behandelt werden und dadurch behinderte Menschen in der gleichberechtigten Teilhabe am Leben in der Gemeinschaft unmittelbar oder mittelbar beeinträchtigt werden.

[81] Degener, Theresia, Antidiskriminierungsrechte für Behinderte: Ein globaler Überblick. In: ZaöRV 65 (2005), 887 – 935

[82] § 81 Abs. 4 Nr. 1 SGB IX [Pflichten des Arbeitgebers und Rechte schwerbehinderter Menschen]

„Die schwerbehinderten Menschen haben gegenüber ihren Arbeitgebern einen Anspruch auf

1. Beschäftigung, bei der sie ihre Fähigkeiten und Kenntnisse möglich voll verwerten und weiterentwickeln können,


4. behinderungsgerechte Einrichtung und Unterhaltung der Arbeitsstätten einschliesslich der Betriebsanlagen, Maschinen und Geräte sowie der Gestaltung der Arbeitsplätze, des Arbeitsumfeldes, der Arbeitsorganisation und der Arbeitszeit, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Unfallgefahr,

5. Ausstattung ihres Arbeitsplatzes mit den erforderlichen technischen Arbeitshilfen

unter Berücksichtigung der Behinderung und ihrer Auswirkung auf die Beschäftigung.“

[83] Most of them are members of the German disability council called Deutscher Behindertenrat, see (10 December 2006).