Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has signed a government regulation that requires regional administrations to have a disability service unit (ULD) on manpower that provides support for the employment of people with disabilities.
Government Regulation No. 60/2020 on the service unit, signed by Jokowi on Oct. 13, mandates that regional manpower agencies at the provincial as well as municipality or regency level have a ULD, which will operate under state and regional budgets.
These units are tasked with protecting the right to work for people with disabilities and providing support for workers with disabilities as well as for workplaces that provide jobs for them. This includes the provision of equipment to support disabled workers.
The units are also expected to provide information to government offices and private businesses regarding nondiscriminatory recruitment.
According to the regulation, the ULD must be run by civil servants and disability support workers "who have knowledge, skills and sensitivity in disability issues."
Indonesian Association of People with Physical Disabilities (PPDFI) chairman Mahmud Fasa lauded the government for issuing the long-anticipated regulation.
He conveyed his hope that the establishment of the employment units would support the fulfillment of the 1 percent quota at private businesses and 2 percent quota in government and state-owned enterprises offices reserved for people with disabilities, as mandated by the 2016 Disability Law.
On the other hand, National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) commissioner and disability rights activist Bahrul Fuad said the implementation of the new regulation might encounter several obstacles.
"The first problem is the low number of people with disabilities who are ready to work," he said.
Bahrul cited a 2016 data from National Labor Force survey that showed that 45 percent of children with disabilities did not graduate from elementary school.
He called on the government to improve inclusive education in the country, including by "making vocational schools more inclusive for people with disabilities as well as by educating teachers and other students about disability."
Bahrul went on to say that the Manpower Ministry should provide a disability-friendly curriculum and facilities in training centers (BLK) to accommodate disabled people who do not complete formal education.
The issuance of the Job Creation Law would also hinder the implementation of the government regulation as "it scraps the quota reserved for disabled workers in offices," Bahrul said.
"The law also does not require offices and other facilities to provide facilities for people with disabilities."
He argued that the government should issue additional regulations to ease the implementation of the disability employment units. It also should give incentives or other forms of appreciation to businesses hiring people with disabilities, Bahrul said.