KUALA LUMPUR: Secretaries-general at various government agencies will be encouraged to hire persons with disabilities (PWDs) as the Government works towards listing it as part of their key performance index.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said secretaries-general at various ministries would soon need to achieve the goal of having PWDs make up one percent of their respective workforce.
"The one percent rule has been stated in a circular but currently, no one is judged or penalised for not doing so. By making it a KPI, secretaries-general now need to make sure that this is achieved," she said.
She said the proposal to do so has been raised in Dewan Negara and the Government is now working to implement it.
Yeoh said this after visiting the Aeon Co (M) Bhd Business Academy to observe the company's open interview session for PWDs on Thursday (June 27).
She said Government departments have struggled to achieve the goal in the past as many fear the unknown.
"It is a chicken-and-egg situation. Some employers don't know what is required when they hire PWDs nor what can be expected of them, " she said.
Yeoh said many would rather not hire PWDs instead of looking for roles that they could fill within the organisation.
However, she said employers need only learn from others who have successfully hired PWDs.
Taking Aeon as an example, she said the company had hired 119 PWDs in various departments and branches, which makes up about 1.2% of its workforce.
"In Aeon's experience, the staff retention rate for PWD workers is high at 95%. This loyalty translates to savings for the company as the cost spent on training new staff members is lessened," she said, adding that the company is now aiming to increase its number of PWD employees to two percent.