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Vietnam loses 3% GDP from not employing people with disabilities

An International Labour Organization (ILO) report shows that Vietnam loses 3 percent of GDP by not employing people with disabilities in the labor market.

 

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In 2008, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, Pham Van Vinh, born in 1982, sent his CV to 30 companies and institutions in Hanoi to apply for jobs.

Vinh knew that finding a job was never easy for a new graduate, especially for himself. He contracted hemiplegia caused by myelitis when he was 17 years old.

Fourteen out of 30 companies invited him for interviews. But after realizing his health conditions, they refused to employ Vinh, giving a lot of reasons.

But Vinh was still persistent in looking for a job. Two months later, Vinh submitted another 10 applications for jobs. But he once again failed and he began work as a collaborator for a labor export company. This was his first job.

After a period of experience, he decided to set up a recruitment channel of his own, specializing in labor export service. But the business went bankrupt a short time later.

He returned to his homeland to work for a garment company which specialized in receiving disabled workers, receiving a monthly wage of VND600,000, enough for him to live for half a month, in 2010.

Six months later, Vinh gave up the job and became a freelancer. He established a fast food chain with 100 points of sale. However, because of Covid-19, the number has dropped to 10 and the chain is on the verge of bankruptcy.

According to the National Coordinating Committee on Disability (NCCD), Vietnam had 8 million disabled people by 2018, which accounted for 7.8 percent of total population. Of this, 40 percent were of working age and still able to work, but only 30 percent of them had stable jobs.

 

According to the National Coordinating Committee on Disability (NCCD), Vietnam had 8 million disabled people by 2018, which accounted for 7.8 percent of total population. Of this, 40 percent were of working age and still able to work, but only 30 percent of them had stable jobs.

 

This means that the country still has 2 million disabled people with working capability, but don’t have jobs.

An ILO report showed that Vietnam loses 3 percent of GDP a year as it doesn’t take full advantage of people with disabilities in the labor market.

More than 54 percent of businesses polled in the national survey on people with disabilities conducted in 2016-2017 by General Statistics Office (GSO) said they had not hired the disabled.

Meanwhile, only 24.4 percent of businesses said they want to employ these people, and 1.4 percent of businesses said they preferred them. About 19 percent of businesses refused to give answers.

Nguyen Van Cu, Deputy Director of Disable and Development Center (DRD), said that many large companies, especially foreign invested ones, care about the issue, but most small and medium enterprises are still reluctant to employ them.

Under the 2010 Law on People with Disabilities, enterprises are encouraged to employ people with disabilities, but it is not compulsory, as previously regulated.

Meanwhile, developed countries and some developing countries near Vietnam have developed legal policies for workers with disabilities.

Chinese laws clearly stipulate the responsibility of Government agencies to allocate a certain number of seats for workers with disabilities.

Thai laws ask enterprises to employ at least 1 percent. The country applies a specific tax on enterprises that do not want to use the disabled.

South Korean laws stipulate that state agencies and public organizations have at least 3 percent of the disabled on staff.

The Vietnam National Committee for People with Disabilities, in a report in 2018, noted that the provisions of the International Convention and the laws of some countries on essential health care conditions for workers with disabilities are designed in a flexible way. This helps to avoids the regulations that create invisible barriers to disabled staff.

Cu, who has experience working with the disabled, said the people and their families need to make an effort to rise up instead of relying on subsidies or support from organizations in the society.

"Currently, many people with disabilities still have a low spirit of striving because of the excessive patronage given to their families," Cu noted.

In related news, in mid-2020, the Government of Vietnam approved a program to support people with disabilities in 2021-2030, under which by 2030, about 90 percent of people with disabilities are hoped to have access to health services in different forms. 

Nguyen Thao

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