The Council of Ministers passed a sub-decree on Friday requiring businesses in both the public and private sectors to employ disabled persons as part of their workforce.
The sub-decree, which is the first piece of related legislation to follow the Disability Law passed in July 2009, stipulates that public institutions with at least 100 employees must have disabled persons comprise a minimum of two percent of their staff.
Private institutions, such as NGOs and businesses, with 100 employees or more must have disabled persons comprise one percent of their staff.
The sub-decree is expected to be signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen next week, said Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers.
Once the sub-decree is signed by the premier and officially adopted, public and private institutions have a three-year grace period in which to comply with the quota.
During each year, every institution must manage to fulfill 30 percent of its total quota.
“I think the important thing is how to implement the sub-decree to be effective and how to be useful for people with disabilities in Cambodia,” said Ngin Saorath, executive director for the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization. “A sub-decree without implementation…doesn’t make change at all.”
Mr Saorath recommended that the Ministries of Labor, Health and Social Affairs work together to define what kinds of jobs will be available to disabled persons and which classification of disabilities will be appropriate for employment.
The Disability Law defines disabled persons as “any persons who lack, lose or damage any physical or mental functions, which result in a disturbance to their daily life of activities, such as physical, visual, hearing, intellectual impairments, mental disorders and any other types of disabilities toward the insurmountable end of the scale.”
According to a statement from the Council of Ministers released on Friday, the sub-decree is intended to improve the lives of disabled persons and in return help reduce the overall burden on society.
“Government institutions and companies should select and accept disabled people who have the qualifications and capability to fulfill the duty and responsibility in the position…to reduce the burden on their families and society, as well as to improve the well-being of disabled persons,” the statement read.
(Additional reporting by Phann Ana)