Flex Malaysia – Productive Employment and Decent Work for PwD Talent

Flex promotes and encourages diverse and inclusive work environment globally and wants to provide Person with Disabilities (PwDs) with equal career opportunities.  Many PwDs are not given equal career opportunities, and Flex wants to make a positive difference in their lives. Flex has hired hundreds of PwD employees to staff its other facilities in India and China for a number of years now and found PwDs’ performance to be at par with other non-PwD staff. The same result applies for Penang. The hiring of PwDs was made possible through Flex’s partnership with the Penang Deaf Association, Johor Deaf Association and JobsMalaysia (the recruitment arm of the Ministry of Human Resources).  All of Flex’s PwD employees are hearing impaired.

In total, Flex Malaysia has hired 126 PwD employees, making the company one of the largest employers of PwDs in Malaysia:

    • Flex Johor: 31 PwD employees
    • Flex Penang:  95 PwD employees


Developing PwD Talent:

  • Flex provides classroom and on-the-job training for PwD employees so that they are well-equipped to do interesting and meaningful work (in tech fields).  Flex also provides employees with job rotation opportunities so that they can learn new skills.
  • We assign a “buddy” to help each PwD employee. Flex’s PwD employee work alongside other employees at the production floor; they are not segregated at the workplace.
  • We treat all employees as equals (including PwDs) and do not accord “special” treatment/ status on PwDs.
  • In preparation to receive our new PwD employees, relevant staff are required to undergo a sign language training program conducted by the Johor Deaf Association.

 PwD-friendly Facilities: We have installed a special “flashing light” alarm system to alert hearing-impaired PwD employees in case of emergencies. The buddy system also helps provide a ready friend who can guide them or help evacuate them in case of emergencies.

  • Result: Flex was recognized as a “PwD Friendly Employer” by the Ministry of Human Resources in April 2019 for embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


Noteworthy Stats:

  • 487,000 PwDs make up Malaysia’s 32.4 million population.
  • Only 3,782 PwDs out of the 487,000 in Malaysia, are registered employees.  This means that only about 0.8% of PwDs are employed in Malaysia.
  • Flex alone accounts for ~3% of the registered PwD employees.  Flex will continue hiring more PwD employees – at least doubling the current figure.

Flex is committed to the ongoing advancement of equality, respect and dignity in our workplace and the communities we serve, through programs that improve equal engagement and inclusion (including that of PwDs).

In short, Flex believes that “no one should be left behind”.  Flex has plans to double its PwD workforce in the near future.

“We noticed that hearing-impaired employees were not given equal career opportunities in the industry, and we wanted to make a difference in their lives. We want to hire, develop and empower hearing-impaired employees so that they can achieve their full potential. We also believe in creating an inclusive and diverse ‘Flex Family’.  Just like a real family, we want to meet our people’s social, emotional, developmental and communication needs, including that of hearing-impaired employees.”

 – Mr. Viswanathan Paramasivam, Flex’s Vice President of Operations

“We encourage a sense of collective pride and belonging in a workplace where every individual is empowered to do their best work. We believe that diverse, inclusive and collaborative teams enable us to transcend conventional creativity, as we help companies transform ideas into smart solutions that shape a better world.”

Mr. Jacob Philip Kanianthara, Flex’s Vice President of Operations