MALAYSIA became the centre for the world’s discussion on employee return-to-work practices when it hosted the International Forum on Disability Management (IFDM) for the first time in the country and in Asia.
Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the three-day forum saw the participation of more than 1,000 people and delegates from over 30 countries.
Fronted by 20 local and international speakers, the forum involved stakeholders such as employers, human resource practitioners, medical professionals as well as policy makers.
It was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, along with Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, Social Security Organisation (Socso) chairman Datuk Abu Huraira Abu Yazid and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed.
Over 1,000 people and delegates from over 30 countries came to learn the latest developments and findings in disability management at The International Forum on Disability Management (IFDM) 2016.
Speaking at the event, Riot said the goal of the conference, which was to communicate and share worldwide ideas and views on the best practices in disability management, was high on the Human Resources Ministry’s priority.
“Employees are the engines of growth of any company; they are also the breadwinner of families and are the people who form the nucleus of society.
“It is important to ensure employees are able to continue to conduct themselves as a productive member of society despite sustaining injuries or diseases,” said Riot.
He said while some countries were more advanced in the practice of disability management, many developing countries such as Malaysia, are still at the learning stage.
“IFDM makes an ideal platform for us all to share knowledge and experience, in order to set up more systematic disability management practices in workplaces,” added Riot.
In Malaysia, the first formal disability management practice for injured and diseased workers materialised in 2007.
Under Socso’s Return to Work (RTW) programme, more than 14,700 people have been able to successfully return to work.
“The practice of disability management is proven to be able to address various issues in this manner,” Riot further noted.
Ahmad Zahid said with Socso’s programmes in motion, the country already has a comprehensive and extensive safety net.
However, he addressed the need to look into enhancing disability management, which is in line with the IFDM’s theme this year – Transforming Disability Management.
“A good way to start is to synchronise all facilities for the disabled in this country. Perhaps a single window of service that links all available facilities is what is needed,” he suggested.
Mohammed Azman also expressed hope that with the conference, more relevant stakeholders will come to understand the latest developments on the practices.
“We want them to learn and incorporate what they have learnt into what they are doing at their workplace in order to improve and take it to the next level.
“We look forward to becoming one of the leading countries in disability management,” he concluded.