V. Employment and Entrepreneurship
To create workfare programs for persons with disabilities, China has improved its laws and regulations, expanded channels for employment, and refined the service system to guarantee their right to employment.
The right to employment of persons with disabilities is protected by law. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that people's governments at all levels shall formulate preferential policies as well as protective and supportive measures to help persons with disabilities to find employment through multiple channels, at various levels and in a variety of forms. The Employment Promotion Law of the People's Republic of China contains provisions on the disabled persons' right to work. The Regulations on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities specifies the details about employment guidelines, government duties, employers' responsibilities, supportive measures, employment services, and legal liability for these people. The Supreme People's Court publishes typical cases to help protect disabled persons' right to work and their lawful rights and interests in accordance with the law. Local people's congresses and governments also issue normative documents to promote employment, encourage entrepreneurship and guarantee equal job opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Policy support for the employment and self-employment of persons with disabilities. The government departments concerned have released a series of relevant policies and documents:
• Opinions on Reserving a Certain Proportion of Employment Positions for Persons with Disabilities
• Measures for the Administration of the Collection and Use of Employment Security Funds for Persons with Disabilities
• Opinions on Promoting Supported Employment for Persons with Disabilities
• Notice on Preferential Value-Added Tax Policies for Promoting Employment of Persons with Disabilities
• Notice on Policies for Government Purchase of Products from Employers of Persons with Disabilities
• Opinions on Supporting Employment and Entrepreneurship of Persons with Disabilities
• Program on Employment Skill Improvement for Persons with Disabilities (2016-2020)
These efforts have helped persons with disabilities to enjoy the benefits of proactive employment policies. Based on market-oriented employment mechanisms, the state has taken preferential policies and supportive and protective measures for the employment and self-employment of persons with disabilities such as tax reductions, supplying facilities, preferential purchasing by the government, favorable loans and capital support, post allowance and social security subsidies.
The Law of the People's Republic of China on Traditional Chinese Medicine provides that persons with visual disabilities who have obtained the qualification as blind medical massagers according to relevant state regulations can engage in self-employment or serve in medical institutions. The state gives support to the training, employment and self-employment of blind massagers. More than 110,000 therapeutic massagers and 10,000 medical massagers with visual disabilities have been trained.
Extensive training and services for persons with disabilities to seek employment or start businesses. The employment of persons with disabilities is covered by public services at all levels: Persons with disabilities in both rural and urban areas who are able to and wish to work are entitled to free services in finding employment or establishing self-employment; help is offered to those with disabilities in seeking employment and to employers in hiring them. Special employment service agencies for persons with disabilities have been set up at provincial, municipal and county levels to provide services such as policy advice, employment registration, career guidance, job opportunities, and training. Employment aid month activities take place during the New Year and Spring Festival to help them find jobs. By 2018, there had been 2,811 employment service organizations for persons with disabilities, with 34,000 staff.
Plans have been carried out to improve occupational skills for persons with disabilities, run training courses on jobs and entrepreneurship tailored to their needs, and hold occupational skill competitions to improve their abilities in finding employment or starting their own businesses. In 2018, another 494,000 persons with disabilities took part in training sessions. And 500 occupational training centers have been set up at the state level and 350 at the provincial level.
Various provisions for employment of persons with disabilities. Steady progress has been made in reserving a certain proportion of employment positions, centralized employment, and self-employment for persons with disabilities. In recent years, the government has optimized the development and management of welfare jobs and encouraged "internet plus" employment. It has formulated "Directives on Supported Employment for Persons with Disabilities", which aims to assist persons with disabilities – including intellectual, mental, and severe physical disabilities – who are working-age individuals eager to be employed but find it hard to enter the competitive job market, to obtain and maintain employment. Provisions are also made for flexible working hours, intensity, pay and labor contract. By 2017, there had been at least one supported employment agency in every municipal district. Preferential measures have been taken to help persons with disabilities in rural areas to engage in farming, breeding, and handicraft industries, all effective sources of employment.
In the past decade, the size and structure of employed persons with disabilities has remained stable, and the number has risen by 300,000 every year. In 2018, another 367,000 persons with certified disabilities were hired, 118,000 in urban areas and 249,000 in rural areas. By 2018, the employment figure of people with certified disabilities had reached 9.48 million.
Increasing the income of persons with disabilities through poverty relief efforts. The Chinese government has formulated the "Development-oriented Poverty Alleviation Program for Persons with Disabilities in Rural Areas (2001-2010)" and the "Outline of Development-oriented Poverty Alleviation for Persons with Disabilities in Rural Areas (2011-2020)". Since 2011, it has helped nearly 13 million persons with disabilities to engage in production activities through poverty relief efforts, and as a result 6.76 million have got out of poverty. Across the country, 5,490 poverty alleviation centers for persons with disabilities have been set up, employing 881,000 persons with disabilities and helping to increase the income of 1.77 million households with one or more disabled members.
Support has been given to low-income households to engage in farming, breeding and handicraft industries as suited to local conditions. The Rain-Dew Anti-poverty Campaign is carried out to a deeper level, in which priority is given to training impoverished persons with disabilities and encouraging them to start up business in agriculture by including those capable of farming into the training programs for farmers.
A vocational skill improvement program and a training program for impoverished households have been launched to ensure labors with one or more disabled family members are prioritized in receiving training and they acquire at least one skill to achieve prosperity. And policies and measures have been taken to serve and support their employment and entrepreneurship, covering capital, worksites, facilities, market information and management. Poverty alleviation models with disabilities are included in programs for training entrepreneurship-based poverty relief leaders in poor villages.
The state has formulated the "Plan on Developing Handicraft Industry to Lead Impoverished Women with Disabilities Out of Poverty". It has strengthened training for these women in practical and employable skills, and developed handicrafts to help them shake off poverty. The heads of National Women's Poverty Eradication Centers and female leaders in helping villagers achieve prosperity are encouraged to partner with and assist women with disabilities. The government holds skill training sessions in urban areas and provides more employment guidance and services to support women with disabilities in finding jobs and starting businesses.