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Blind masseurs affected by more than 40% of the employment of disabled persons under the epidemic: We will not be able to ensure employment


The new crown pneumonia epidemic in Hong Kong has lasted for more than a year, and the unemployment rate has repeatedly set new highs. It is even more difficult for people with disabilities to find employment. A survey by organizations concerned with disability found that more than 40% of the interviewed persons with disabilities were affected by the epidemic

District 18 News

Written by: Lu Nuojun

2021-02-27 17:26

The last update date: 2021-02-27 17:29

The new crown pneumonia epidemic in Hong Kong has lasted for more than a year, and the unemployment rate has repeatedly set new highs. It is even more difficult for people with disabilities to find employment.

A survey by organizations concerned with disability found that more than 40% of the people with disabilities interviewed are affected by the epidemic, and many of them have tertiary education or above; about 40% of the interviewed people with disabilities and chronically ill patients are currently unemployed or unemployed. Higher than the government's latest 7% unemployment rate.

A blind masseuse who has worked for 13 years admitted frankly that the massage industry had "zero income" during the suspension of business for more than 100 days, but because most of the industry was freelance workers and did not contribute to the MPF, so far they have not received any government assistance, urged The government provides targeted assistance.

The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation Research and Advocacy Center, the eConnect Employment Network, the Joint Employment Quota System for the Disabled, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Sciences and the Hong Kong Alliance of Patients’ Organizations, jointly conducted related activities for people with disabilities from November to December last year. The employment and economic status survey of chronically ill patients received 362 valid questionnaires.

The survey found that 42.5% of the interviewees said their livelihoods were affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, such as being dismissed, forced to take unpaid leave, etc. About 40.3% of the interviewees were unemployed or unemployed.

In terms of employment prospects, 64.3% of the people said they are not confident that they can get a job in the next six months.

In addition, the survey found that about 59% of respondents’ families are poor families, with a median household income of only $10,000, which is more than 60% lower than the median household income of $26,200 in the third quarter of 2020.

Regarding the government's employment assistance measures under the epidemic, 59.7% of people agreed that the government's payment of 10,000 yuan to the public would be helpful; only about 25% believed that "employment guarantee" wage subsidies and 30,000 temporary positions helped them.

Blind masseurs live on savings with zero income for more than 100 days

Andrew, who has worked as a blind masseuse for 13 years, said that most of the teachers in the industry "split the relief" with their employers on weekdays. They have no relationship with employees, no basic salary or MPF. The massage parlors have been closed for more than 100 days under the epidemic, but have not received them. Any government subsidy, "Even if the boss picks up "guarantee employment", it won't fall into our hands." He pointed out that during this period, most employees only earn less than 30% of their income and they need to rely on savings or family help to survive the day. Welfare Agency launched "massage coupons" to help them in emergency situations.

Zhang Guanting, manager of the Research and Advocacy Center of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, suggested that public and private employers can try the strategy of "hiring first, training later", and the government can provide on-the-job training and support packages for employees in need to encourage employers to hire employees who are capable of working for a long time. People with disabilities and chronic diseases.

Relevant strategies can also be coordinated with the assisted employment services provided by social welfare agencies. Social welfare agencies will follow up on cases to enhance the coordination between employers and employees.

Dr. Chen Zisong, associate professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, pointed out that the three areas of policy, work environment and community inclusion and support need to be involved and coordinated simultaneously to create a favorable employment environment for the disabled and chronically ill patients.

He gave examples and suggested the establishment of a list of employers that support the employment of persons with disabilities, and the provision of financial assistance for job seekers.

The survey also found that only about 25% of the people with disabilities interviewed are satisfied with the measures of the government's anti-epidemic fund.

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Urge the government to include the quota for people with disabilities when creating jobs

Liang Zhenkang, representative of eConnect Employment Network, said that the epidemic affects all walks of life. The government can review and formulate employment services to support persons with disabilities during the epidemic, as well as enhance the employment development capabilities of the Labour Department and the SWD’s three employment programs for persons with disabilities, including wage subsidies. Employment, on-the-job training programs for people with disabilities, and "Sunshine Road" training programs.

As for the working environment, he believes that the government should strengthen support for employees with disabilities who work at home and create "peer support staff" positions to enhance mutual assistance among people with disabilities in the epidemic.

Tan Weiye, co-representative of the Employment Quota System for People with Disabilities, suggested that the government should take the lead in recruiting more disabled people with working ability and set a recommended standard for the proportion of employees with disabilities in various departments.

He said that the problem of employment difficulties for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses has existed for many years, and the epidemic has exacerbated the problem. He hopes that the government can set a target for hiring people with disabilities among the remaining 15,000 jobs and the newly created 30,000 time-limited jobs. .

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Disabled people with news employment in 18 districts

Source: hk1

All news articles on 2021-02-27

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