BEN­E­FIT 6.5M PEO­PLE

New Straits Times - - News -

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.

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