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That national and local government organizations have been inflating the number of people on their payrolls with disabilities — to meet legally mandated quotas by “arbitrarily interpreting” the guideline on hiring such people under the law to promote employment of disabled workers — is simply inexcusable. An investigative panel probing the malpractice said it could find no evidence that the organizations intentionally cheated to get around the requirements, but the way they padded their numbers indicate that the government bodies — which are supposed to set the example for increasing employment of people with disabilities — lacked any awareness of what the law aims to achieve.

The law for promoting employment of people with disabilities, which dates back to 1960 in its original form, requires employers in both the public and private sectors to hire people with physical, intellectual or mental disabilities to account for a certain portion of their workforce — with the mandatory ratio raised to 2.5 percent for government organizations and 2.2 percent for private sector companies since April. Companies that fail to meet the mandatory ratio will be fined, while no such penalties are imposed on public sector bodies. The law aims to create a society that ensures work opportunities for everyone irrespective of disabilities.

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