Hetzer Siu Yu Hong, director of the Macau Special Olympics (MSO), Thursday urged the government to set up a productivity assessment system for employees with disabilities, in order for them to be paid a “reasonable” wage.
Siu made the remarks on the sidelines of a prize-giving MSO ceremony for winners of an annual vocational skills contest, when he was asked by a reporter about the proposed implementation of a statutory minimum wage that possibly would exclude employees with disabilities.
The Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) launched a 45-day public consultation last month on the proposed implementation of a statutory minimum wage for employees in general. The consultation ended on Wednesday.
The government has proposed that – at least initially – employees with disabilities and domestic helpers would be excluded from the implementation of the minimum wage.
According to the Macau Post Daily,currently only cleaners and doormen employed by the property management sector are entitled to a statutory minimum wage of 30 patacas an hour – or 240 patacas a day or 6,240 patacas a month. It has been in force since the beginning of 2016.
Siu said, “Whether employees with disabilities would be covered by the statutory minimum wage [is not the most important point], the most important is that the government establishes a policy to help these people get employed…if they are covered by the minimum wage but without any related policies to help them, it would also be very hard for them,” adding that the government should encourage employers to hire more people with disabilities.
Siu said that establishing a productivity assessment system for employees with disabilities could provide them with a minimum wage related to their different capabilities and skills.
The bureau also mentioned the possibility of such an assessment in its public consultation document, which states that the assessment has been implemented in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US.
Siu also said that the government should be the leader in hiring employees with disabilities. However, the government was only hiring few of them, Siu added.