Innovative Policy 2017 on Employment and Vocational Education & Training
Quotas, support and subsidies for private employers
|Responsible body||Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) and Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)|
Saudi Arabia’s Tawafuq Empowerment for Employment for Persons with Disabilities programme focuses on the creation of a nationwide, fully inclusive private sector economic system by improving and developing legislation and policies, providing pre-employment and employment services, offering vocational training, and using data tracking to promote and support suitable and sustainable employment of persons with disabilities.
The Tawafuq programme tackles the limitations of clear processes for the enforcement of current policies regarding the employment of people with disabilities. In particular, Article 28 of Saudi Arabia’s Labour Law mandates a 4 per cent quota of such employees within the private sector. In 2008 the country ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and within this context the Ministry of Labour and Social Development took the initiative to work on private sector employment of persons with disabilities. From 2012 to 2014 an international benchmarking study and assessment of laws were undertaken; and in 2014 the programme was launched with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) as the service delivery arm. In 2016, Royal Decree No. 1982 specified the definition of disability and employment as well as recommendations for minimal accommodations and services.
«The provision and enforcement of legislation and inclusive work environments is core to empower the employment process of persons with disabilities.»
Implemented and overseen by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD), HRDF, and the General Office of Social Insurance, the Tawafuq programme promotes employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector. It improves policies and procedures, provides training, documents information, and offers access to subsidies. Royal Decree No. 1982 of 2016 and the Disability and Work Card (Kudra) were introduced, regulating access to employment services. To make employment agencies and platforms inclusive, a job-seeker itinerary and training were designed and accessibility services were mandated. MLSD established the Certification System for Disability Confident Work Environments (Mowaamah, pilot phase 2015–2016), and HRDF endorsed a set of best practice standards for procurement processes. With advice from the International Labour Organization, the Business Disability Network (Qaderoon) was established in 2014, and an IT-training platform for developing professional skills (“Doroob”) became accessible.