Home > Disability, Labour, Rule of Law > Is there a future for people with disabilities to work?

Is there a future for people with disabilities to work?

Sun 11 July 2010

By Mirae Kang

The Act on Employment Promotion and Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Persons was passed on June 4, to promote employment for the disabled. Through this new law, the government sponsors employment agencies with job placement programs and education. The law also establishes that companies with over 50 employees are required to hire a certain number of disabled people.

But a recent report provided by the Ministry of Employment and Labor shows that the job market for the disabled still remains bleak. The Ministry stated that, “despite increasing social awareness last year during an economically difficult time, a low figure of 1.87 percent of people with disabilities were hired compared to the total population of people with disabilities being 4.86 percent within the country.”

Under the new law, 3 percent of the government workforce and 2.3 percent of any other institution must hire people with disabilities. Failing to meet these requirements may subject companies to a penalty fine. Despite these laws and regulations, statistics show that only public institutions have complied with the legal requirement to staff 2.1 percent of employees with disabilities. Also, about 30 conglomerates in Korea still choose to pay fines instead of hiring people with disabilities.

Prior to this act, several domestic laws to improve life and prohibit acts of discrimination on people with disabilities have been implemented, these include: The Welfare of Disabled Persons Act, Act on Convenience Promotion for Persons with Disabilities, Act on Mobility Promotion for Persons with Disabilities, Anti-Discrimination against and Remedies for Persons with Disabilities, and several more.

The plethora of acts has increased social awareness but despite being a country which has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2008, the issue of equal treatment and opportunities since remains a topic often dealt with by the media.

——

Korea Human Rights Foundation HRM writer Myung Jin Lee contributed to this report.

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Categories: Disability, Labour, Rule of Law
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