A new forum will bridge the gap between employers and the disabled community, the Commissioner for the Rights of People with a Disability, Oliver Scicluna, said on Wednesday. 

Speaking during a seminar to mark World Day for People with a Disability, Mr Scicluna announced the setting up of the Malta Disability Business Forum. The new entity, he said, was based on a similar set-up in the UK, and was geared towards improving dialogue between the business and disability communities.

“We have to understand each other – their needs and concerns and ours, and to achieve that we have to communicate with one another,” he told the seminar. 

To this end, the Malta Employers’ Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises GRTU, yesterday participated in the seminar, holding a series of workshops with leaders in the disability field.   

Mr Scicluna said the commission had also launched a new campaign entitled ‘Yes for everybody’. This would certify businesses that were accessible to people with a disability in a holistic way.

Read: €2.5m paid by firms not hiring disabled workers

The Times of Malta last week reported how employers who failed to hire enough workers with a disability had paid fines of nearly €2.5 million in three years.

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said JobsPlus had collected the amount between 2015-2017 from companies having more than 20 staff on the books but which failed to engage the minimum two per cent quota of employees with a disability.

Mr Scicluna said the figures showed that enforcement of the quota was being taken seriously and the situation was improving. Nevertheless, he said, there was still plenty of room for improvement.


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