$1.7 million paid out to eligible people with disabilities and their employers

1.7 million dollars has been paid out under the Special Employment Credit (SEC) and Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) for persons with disabilities.

Giving an update, the Social and Family Development Ministry said 1150 employers who hired over 1200 disabled Singaporeans received some 1.2 million dollars as part of the SEC.

The scheme allows companies to get a credit of up to 16 per cent of the employee's wages.

In addition, the first WIS payout for the disabled in the workforce was made in September this year.

1,358 of these workers received 449,000 dollars under this scheme.

Both the WIS and SEC were extended to eligible persons with disabilities and their employers as part of this year's budget initiatives.

Both schemes aim to encourage employers to provide more employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

One company that has embraced the disabled into their workforce is food and beverage outlet, Han's.

10 per cent of its staff have some form of disability.

It's Managing Director Han Choon Fook says this group of workers has not affected the company's productivity in any way:

"People may think that people with disability or people who need special help may interrupt your operation. Of course, compared with ordinary people, these group of people may be a little bit weak, but after training and good guidance I think they can still work quite well."

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Halimah Yacob urged employers to tap on disabled Singaporeans in the tight labour market.

During her visit at Han's this morning, Madam Halimah also stressed the need for family support:

"Parents must try to be less protective, because the idea of providing employment is to encourage independence, so that parents will feel a lot assured that their children with disabilities can take care of themselves. So, if parents are over protective that becomes a barrier."