Serbian Labour Minister Nikola Selakovic said that only 62 companies in Serbia employ people with disabilities, even though the state annually allocates 625 million dinars (approx 5.33 mn euro) to supplement their wages.
Speaking in the southern city of Leskovac on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the minister said that according to the National Employment Service, more than 500 people with disabilities are unemployed in that city and that only five of them are employed in a local company.
“Currently we have only 62 companies in Serbia that employ people with disabilities in 26 cities and municipalities, which is a small number,” Selakovic said.
He assessed that the problem lies with employers who, according to him, decide to pay fines rather than hire a person with a disability.
“Employing people with disabilities is not only humane but also profitable for the employer. On the one hand the state provides money and on the other hand these people show through their work that they are often incomparably more loyal, valuable and productive than people without disabilities,” said the minister.