Tue, Dec 07, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Employers urged to hire disabled

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) urged the disabled and employers to utilize government resources in order to get more disabled individuals into the workforce.

According to a study conducted late last year by the council and the Ministry of the Interior, of those disabled individuals who had the ability to work and who were above the age of 15, the employment rate was 85.4 percent.

The study was released recently after further studies were done by academics based on the figures.

According to the study, 22.5 percent of the disabled workforce work in manufacturing industries, 21.9 in the service industry and 9.8 in the wholesale or retail industries.

Of those employed, 22.25 percent worked as sales personnel, 22.03 percent as laborers or in non-technical positions, while 13.6 percent served as administrative staff.

Seventy percent of disabled people who are working are employees, 22 percent are self-employed, while just 4 percent are employers themselves.

The average monthly salary for a disabled man was NT$27,924, while women earned slightly less, NT$24,075.

"Under the Physically and Mentally Challenged Protection Law (身心障礙者保護法), there are quotas for disabled employees that entities have to fill, depending on the size of each entity," Chou Hui-ling (周惠玲), a council section chief, said yesterday.

Article 3 of the law stipulates that in a government entity, for every 50 employees, at least 2 percent of the jobs must be filled by disabled workers.

In a private company, for every 100 employees, 1 percent of the jobs must be filled by disabled employees.

"If a private entity fails to fill the quota, it has to pay a fine to its regional [level] government, for each disabled individual not hired as regulated," Chou said.

In order to encourage employment, bonuses are given out to employers who hire disabled individuals. The workers are recommended through the council's employment and vocational training centers.

Employers who have hired disabled employees through a training center are eligible to apply for a bonus when the employee has worked for more than six months. The bonus is NT$5,000 per month for 12 months.

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