Volume 4 Issue 14 - July 15, 2006

New Code of Conduct to encourage firms to employ disabled people in Sri Lanka

D.N.I.S. News Network Sri Lankas main employers body has come up with a new Code of Conduct as part of its efforts to encourage companies to employ disabled people. The voluntary Code, containing guidelines to employers for hiring and retaining disabled people, was recently launched by the Employers Federation of Ceylon (E.F.C.).

Javed Abidi, Executive Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, New Delhi, was a guest of honour at the launch. In his speech, he stated that, Disability is in the mind. Im here in Sri Lanka. Ive come all the way from Delhi and am moving around, attending meetings, etc. So, how is my disability stopping me from doing anything I want to do? He stressed that disabled people get into difficulties because of the environment.

E.F.C. Director General Gotabaya Dasanayaka stated that the Federation believes they cannot afford to marginalise any section of the society, whatever be the reason. He said: Because when we marginalise people they are a burden to society, they are a burden to the government. We need to bring these marginalised societies into the economy. And there is no better way than employment.

Each year the E.F.C. holds a job fair for disabled people, where its members interview and hire them. Most employers expressed that far from being a burden, disabled people are more productive than other employees and also show more commitment.

The newly launched Code is voluntary and deals with ways employers can make small adjustments to make it easier for disabled people to work. Its actually a guideline that overlooks certain areas that any employer would look at when employing a disabled person from recruitment to retaining those employees, says Ashanthi Weerasinghe, M.A.S. Holdings, who helped compile the Code.

The E.F.C. hopes that companies will adopt the guidelines of the Code into their overall human resource policy and practices.

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National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

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