BENEFIT 6.5M PEOPLE
Mooted in 2014 to protect employees facing retrenchment, the scheme is expected to be enforced on Jan 1.
In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the necessary laws for the scheme were being drafted and were expected to be tabled in the June Parliament session.
“This new social safety net is aimed at helping employees who lost their jobs receive financial aid and find new employment,” said Najib, who is also finance minister.
“In addition, workers who lost their jobs will also undergo a retraining scheme or improve their skills to boost their employability.”
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, who was instrumental in the push for the scheme, had revealed that the cabinet had approved the proposal earlier this week.
A cabinet paper was tabled on the scheme and submitted by the Federal Government in July last year, with emphasis on the need to protect employees in the private sector.
In his statement, Najib said the implementation of the scheme was a long-term initiative, which would have a positive impact on the employee and employer’s group.
“This law is expected to be enforced from Jan 1 next year onwards, whereas benefit payments can be made from Jan 1, 2019,” Najib said.
“Other nations’ experience showed that the scheme acts as an economic stabiliser and continues to maintain the economic activity in a sustainable manner, especially during tough times,” Najib said.
He added that the scheme would boost the effectiveness of the labour market through matching offer and demand in a more efficient manner, as well as increase productivity and industrial competitiveness.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-general J. Solomon said the council had sent a letter to the Human Resources Ministry in support of the scheme.
“We have written to the minister to further discuss this. We are agreeable, in principle, on this scheme,” he said.
Solomon said the congress hoped the introduction of the system would not be used as an excuse for employers to lay off their workers and that they should instead look at it positively.