‘Quotas’ for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities – Open Invitation for Comment
At the request of the Rehabilitation Department of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR), MCRB and AAR Japan have prepared a Policy Options paper with suggestions on how to give effect to Chapter 10 (Employment) of the 2015 Law concerning the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with the aim of encouraging and facilitating companies to employ more persons with disabilities and introducing credible policy and regulatory measures for this.
The paper, available in EN and MM, is intended to enable the Sub-Committee on Employment of which both MCRB and AAR Japan are members to make recommendations via the Working Committee to the National Committee in line with their duty to “(b) Study, analyze and make recommendations and undertake relevant coordination to enable the adoption of the policies and plans that support employment of persons with disabilities in accordance with the Law on Protecting the Employment Rights of Persons with Disabilities”.
The ToRs and membership of the Sub-Committee are available. They were adopted on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December in Order 98/2019 of the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, chaired by Vice-President Henry Van Thio.
MCRB would welcome comments on the Options Paper, and the issues it raises, from employers, including business, and NGOs, as well as from organisations for persons with disabilities and those who support them. A date for the next Employment Sub-Committee has yet to be set but will take place shortly. A pre-Committee orientation discussion is planned to be held in Yangon on Saturday 15 February. Those interested in attending should contact to whom written comments should also be sent, in EN or MM.
This paper draws on desk research from international experience, particularly in Asia, and also on discussions held in the Multistakeholder Forums on disability and employment held by MCRB, ILO and AAR Japan in November 2017 and March 2019.
It is intended as input for debate and does not represent the views of MCRB/AAR Japan’s donors nor other stakeholders. Although Options Paper mainly examines the issue of quotas, MCRB and AAR Japan note that is important for the Committee and the Myanmar government to take into account all necessary measures to promote employment of persons with disabilities, regardless of whether a quota is set.
The paper makes suggestions for the National Committee to pursue one of two options:
Option 1: Defer action on setting a quota until a later date and focus on the various actions necessary to improve the enabling environment for employment of persons with disabilities including:
awareness-raising on the rights of persons with disabilities and existing policies, laws and regulations outlawing discrimination. This should be targetted at government departments, businesses and the general public;
implementation of existing policies, laws and regulations to ensure non-discrimination in particular:
access to education and vocational training
accessible public transportation
acceleration of the roll-out of a registration process for persons with disabilities
combatting discrimination in recruitment, employment and promotion in all forms of employment (government, private sector and non-government)
activities and programmes to increase employability and employment of persons with disabilities including:
databases of persons with disabilities seeking jobs, job fairs and job matching
more training program on skills, job placement, job readiness, job coaching and self-confidence
incentives and recognition for companies which are more disability inclusive (without tying this to their exceeding a specified quota)
Option 2: In addition to improving the enabling environment, conduct a consultation on introducing a quota system.
Employers in the public and private sector currently have little awareness about disability and their obligations not to discriminate. In order to explore the feasibility of implementing a quota system in Myanmar, a thorough structured and open ‘Green Paper’ style public consultation is needed with employers (businesses and NGOs) and DPOs. Based on international good practice, such a consultation should probably take around a year e.g. preparation; six-month consultation (including communication and public meetings; review and consolidation of answers.
There should be specific questions about the feasibility and desirability of different measures, reflecting international experiences. The consultation should seek view on preferences and feasibility on:
Level (%) of quota
Applicability e.g. to which parts of the public and private sector.
Timeline for introduction
Options for incentives
Options for penalties
Monitoring and options for review