Case Study
Employment in inclusion departments at a catering company


The medium-sized company for company catering and school catering employs a total of 160 people, including 18 people with severe disabilities in nine inclusion departments. Due to the increasing demand for meals in schools, after the switch to full-time lessons, the employer is expanding and needs more staff. Due to the visit to a well-functioning cafeteria, in which people with severe disabilities are already working, the employer made the decision to take people with severe disabilities into account when looking for personnel. In cooperation with integration services in the region and with the advisory support of the integration or inclusion office, inclusion departments were then set up in the school canteens and the central kitchen in nine months. The integration services also took on the task of finding suitable candidates for the employer.

Disability and functional restriction of employees:

The employees are physically handicapped, sensually impaired or have learning difficulties. In the case of employees with a physical disability, the supporting and musculoskeletal system are mainly affected, which should prevent long-term, physically demanding activities (e.g. carrying and lifting loads). Employees with a learning disability work more slowly and need more time and help to understand and recognize complex relationships and situations. Employees with a sensory disability include e.g. B. a deaf woman who cannot perceive acoustic information (spoken language and signals). Verbal communication with her is therefore only possible through gestures or written notes.

Training and job:

The employees have little or no previous knowledge in the area of ​​company catering. They were previously unemployed and were referred to the employer by the employment agency's rehabilitation team with the help of an integration service. There they completed a one or two week internship at the beginning. As part of the internship, they were trained under the guidance of various jobs. It was also determined whether they liked the job and whether they could continue to do so with the appropriate support. The suitable candidates then received permanent employment and were employed as part-time employees in a cafeteria or in the central kitchen.

Workplace and duties:

The inclusion departments (school cafeteria and central kitchen) consist of two severely disabled, two marginally employed and one manager. The employees with severe disabilities in the school canteens prepare breakfast rolls or salads, take care of the final cooking of the chilled meals, dispense food, rinse and operate the cashless billing system. Employees with a severe disability in the central kitchen are mainly responsible for vacuuming the pre-cooked dishes, which are then taken to the refectories and cooked there. The employees concerned are looked after and supported in the inclusion departments by the manager and, in the event of problems, by the integration specialist. The motivation to be employed in a normal company is usually sufficient to compensate for the disability-related disadvantage.

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The founding of the inclusion departments was funded by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of NRW and the Integration and Inclusion Office as part of the regular funding for investment grants (per job) taken over from a previous state program. In addition, the employer receives compensation from the integration or inclusion office for the necessary personnel support and an employment security subsidy to compensate for the reduced benefits, and the employment agency provides a temporary wage subsidy as integration assistance.

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Last Update: 25 Nov 2019