Enabling Code

July 7, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main employers’ body has introduced a code of conduct as part of its efforts at encouraging firms to hire disabled persons. The voluntary code, which contains guidelines to employers for hiring and retaining disabled persons, was launched by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Thursday.

“We at the Federation believe that we cannot afford to marginalize any section of the society, for whatever reason,” says EFC Director General Gotabaya Dasanayaka.

“Because when we marginalize people they are a burden to society, they are a burden to the government. We need to bring these marginalized societies into the economy. And there is no better way than employment.”

Each year the EFC holds a job fair for disabled persons, where its members interview and hire them.

Far from being a burden, many employers say that disabled people are more productive than other employees, and also show more commitment.

“We have one operation where workers paste stickers on ice cream container lids,” says CEO of CEI Plastics, Anver Dole.

“A normal person would do about 200 per hour. But we have totally blind boys who do