It is estimated that almost 5% of the Cambodian population has at least one disability. On average, persons with disabilities earn less, and have a greater difficulty finding jobs – a common occurrence throughout the world. Following on 2009’s Disability Law, the Council of Ministers recently passed a sub-decree aiming to better integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce.

The regulation sets out certain hiring and reporting requirements, along with incentives and penalties, for employers of a certain size. Counting from 2010, they’ll have three years to fully meet their quotas.

Private-sector employers of more than 100 employees must have at least 1% of their workforce be of disability. The quota is set at 2% for public-sector employers of over 50 employees. The sub-decree establishes a scaling system, whereby a full-time employee with a serious disability counts as two disabled persons, whereas a part-time employee of low to medium disability counts as half.

Covered employers will need to report annually to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Youth and Rehabilitation and also to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training on their compliance. Failure to meet the quota will incur a mandatory contribution to a disability charity fund of 40% of the employer’s minimum monthly salary.

Employers falling below the minimum-size thresholds are not required to hire disabled persons, but will receive an incentive (to be determined later) for doing so.

The sub-decree also contains a short article requiring employers to accommodate disabled employees by making changes to the work conditions, training, environment, procedures, and materials. This could include, for instance, access to a handicap accessible bathroom, or speech-software for blind employees. While the sub-decree does not spell out what sort of accommodations are required, beyond excluding those which would be “serious” burden on the employer.

When fully implemented, these quotas will hopefully go a long way to providing jobs and income for persons with disabilities.