On 16 August 2022, the Inclusive Employers Forum by the Ethiopian Business and Disability Network (EBDN) brought together more than 70 participants from companies, international NGOs and bilateral development cooperation agencies.
A brief introduction to the EBDN, current state of jobseekers with disabilities in Ethiopia, the business case of inclusive hiring and the role of private sector in employment of persons with disabilities was presented to the audience. Benefits provided to EBDN members were also discussed. An overview of existing legal frameworks and practices in Ethiopia with respect to employment of persons with disabilities was provided by a consulting organisation that works in the space of disability inclusion.
This was followed by a presentation of the inclusive hiring practices at Indochine Apparel, including the employment of 22 persons with disabilities in their factory at the Hawassa Industrial Park. It was observed that over 40 persons with disabilities are currently employed in the industrial park. The panel discussion was beneficial in discussing experiences of panellists about the hiring, retention and managing persons with disabilities and related issues at the workplace such as discrimination, reasonable adjustments, safety hazards, among others.
The question-and-answer session with the audience was particularly insightful and the most asked questions from employers were:
Is there a job portal or database available to get access to the job profiles of candidates with disabilities?
What are the incentives, such as tax benefits, that are provided by the government to companies that hire persons with disabilities?
Discussion on legal protection of persons with disabilities regarding discrimination and performance related issues in the workplace.
This was followed by the ‘Inclusive Employers Awards‘- awarded to the Mosaic Hotel and Indochine Apparel PLC for hiring a large number persons of disabilities. The programme ended with a performance by dancers with disabilities and call for EBDN registration.