Funding and subsidies

sheltered2Countries fall into one of two broad categories: those where such establishments receive central government funding, either through a ministerial department or national agency (e.g. Australia, Costa Rica, France, Ireland, Sweden); and those where funding is provided on a regional or local basis (e.g. Belgium, Portugal, South Africa, Spain), though a few combine funding from several levels (e.g. Argentina, Denmark, and Scotland (United Kingdom)). In some cases, government funding is linked to a certain level of earnings (50 per cent of the minimum wage in Spain, for example), while in others, there is no direct link to the earnings of workers in sheltered employment.

In any case, the wage link is only one element in determining government funding of sheltered workshops. There are also subsidies for equipment, job creation, training (e.g. in Portugal, prior training for employment in a sheltered workshop is fully subsidized for up to nine months), adaptation of work stations, etc. In Sweden, for example, the Samhall enterprise receives a blanket subsidy based on the “increased cost of employing disabled workers”.