About us - German Federal Association of Sheltered Workshops 13.06.24
Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Werkstätten für behinderte Menschen e. V. (BAG WfbM) is the German Federal association of sheltered workshops with its headquarter in Berlin.

BAG WfbM is providing its roughly 700 members with services such as expert advice on questions related to employment, vocational education, financing and legal issues. BAG WfbM advocates for the participation of people with disabilities in working life, it cooperates with other associations for people with disabilities and service providers and represents the interests of their members in all relevant legal and political matters. In Germany, sheltered workshops are highly specialised facilities for vocational rehabilitation who enable people with severe disabilities to participate in working life. In roughly 3,000 subsidiaries they provide vocational education, work opportunities and support in personal development for around 310,000 people with intellectual, psychological and severe and multiple disabilities.

In 2023, 93 % of the German sheltered workshops were organized in BAG WfbM.

Political Advocacy
BAG WfbM is actively involved in the legislation process at federal level in Germany and represents the interests of German sheltered workshops in Europe. In 2015 and 2016 saw the government passing the most comprehensive legislative reform relating to people with disabilities. The objective pursued by the legal reform was to adapt the existing legislation to the aims of person-centred services and to further implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations (UNCRPD) in Germany. BAG WfbM was actively and closely involved in the legislation process. 

In 2019, the German Parliament called on the federal government to examine within four years how a transparent, sustainable and future-proof remuneration system can be developed. Therefor, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) has commissioned a consortium consisting of the Institute for Social Research and Social Policy GmbH (ISG) and the Institute for Applied Social Science GmbH (infas) with the research project "Study on a transparent, sustainable and future-oriented remuneration system for people with disabilities in workshops for people with disabilities and their prospects on the general labor market". 

The final report on this research project was published on the BMAS website on September 14, 2023. Upon completion of the research project, the BMAS plans to make legislative changes. The actual legislative process is expected to begin in 2024. BAG WfbM is proactively accompanying this process from the beginning and is represented in the steering group at the federal level. BAG WfbM has also, in close cooperation with its members, developed two proposals of its own for a transparent future remuneration system to contribute them to the discussion. BAG WfbM is active at the European level as well. BAG WfbM is member of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD). BAG WfbM is also founding member of AccessToWork Europe , a group of representatives of systems of sheltered workshops and employment with members from Austria, France, Poland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. BAG WfbM advocates for the recognition of the services of sheltered workshops as a key instrument to enable people with disabilities to access work as part of a meaningful process that allows them to be productive and create value.

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Who we are
Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Werkstätten für behinderte Menschen e. V. (BAG WfbM) is the political representative of sheltered workshops in Germany. We represent 93 % of all German workshops. All public welfare organisations and religious denominations work jointly in our organisation.

Our task is to give expert advice on questions related to employment, vocational training, financing and legal issues. Additionally, we are actively involved in the legislation process. BAG WfbM promotes for the participation of persons with disabilities in working life.
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