SANTIAGO – A new law obliges enterprises in Chile to hire physically or mentally impaired people. Increasing the possibilities for those affected to get work, this resolution represents a great advance for Chile in the matter of human rights because it means more equality in society.
To give people with disabilities amore equal treatment the government has created the Labor Inclusion Law. It contemplates that private and public enterprises with over 100 employees must hire 1% of their workforce with some disability. With this legislation, Chile is now in a group of pioneering countries like Spain and Mexico that seek to improve conditions for integration in the labor market.
Functionaries in the labor directorate enforce this policy via periodic inspections and imposing fines for noncompliance that could reach over CLP$4.000.000. Patricia Badani, director of labor inclusion in the Chamber of Deputies told El Definido: “They follow the same policies, rules and conditions that any other worker follows, and this law brings benefits in terms of working environment, because when people around see a person with this situation developing such a great job, they feel motivated to follow, which inspires hard work.”
Likewise, the general secretary of the Chamber of Deputies Miguel Landeros, emphasized that impaired persons positively affect their workplaces. They improve the quality of their colleagues since their positive energy and hardworking nature impresses others who would follow by working with the same dedication and compromise. In this sense, the government and the congress expressed with this new law a commitment to creating better life conditions, as Chile aims to legislate more improvements for impaired persons so they are not forced to only subsist but also earn a good salary.
Other countries have created similar laws. For example, Spain provides people with Down Syndrome through the Madrid-based Down Syndrome Foundation with skills and knowledge to work through study programs, in which participants learn about their abilities and talents. The foundation visits companies searching for vacancies its members can handle. In a last step, the foundation offers to all companies involved a skilled trainer, who accompanies the employee during work and ensures their good development.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.