LABOUR OF LOVE
THE government has always made it a priority to look after the welfare of workers. In line with this, the prime minister announced two schemes on Labour Day to boost their wellbeing. The first is an insurance plan that benefits 6.5 million private sector
THE welfare of workers and those who are selfemployed are high up on the government list of priorities if the introduction of two schemes was anything to go by.
In conjunction with the Labour Day celebration here yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the implementation of the Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) in 2018 and the expansion of the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme coverage scope.
The two schemes were among the measures undertaken by the government under the Workers Transformation Leap programme in terms of expanding the social security coverage.
For EIS, he said, the government had allocated RM70 million for interest payment under the scheme, which would benefit some 6.5 million private sector employees who would get better protection under the existing Employees’ Social Security Act 1969.
“With EIS, workers will get temporary financial aid to support themselves and their families for a stipulated period while they are looking for new employment.
“For those who lost their jobs, they will also get other job service support, including in job search, job matching, career counselling and training,” Najib told some 5,000 people who turned up for this year’s Labour Day celebration, themed “Creative Workers, Innovation Makers”.
Present were Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, his deputy, Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib, Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Zainal Rahim Seman and Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adenan Ab Rahman.
Najib said the benefit payments of EIS were expected to be made from Jan 1, 2019.
He said EIS was a long-term measure not only to help affected workers, but also to preserve and boost sustainable economic growth if recession occurs, adding that laws for EIS were being finetuned and expected to be tabled in the next Parliament session.
“For me, EIS is like the saying ‘dig a well before it rains’. In this respect, I urge all, especially employers, to support the implementation of the scheme.”
Another measure was to include other self-employed workers aside from taxi drivers and ehailing service Uber and GrabCar drivers into the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme.
Najib said the government was looking at getting other self-employed workers into the scheme, including fishermen, farmers, traders and artists.
“This scheme will allow selfemployed workers to be covered in the event of occupational accidents or if they suffer from occupational diseases.”
The Self-Employment Social Security Scheme is scheduled to be implemented on June 1.
Four other transformation leap programmes are on prioritising workers’ welfare; optimising human capital and strengthening policy planning, as well as wage system; enabling technical, vocational education training; and, empowering public employment service provider agencies.
Najib also listed other measures taken in prioritising workers’ welfare, including the National Minimum Policy, which saw the compliance of 98 per cent out of more than 121,000 job providers.
“In addressing cost of living, we have done a lot, such as 1Malaysia People’s Aid, Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor, 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme and 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing for workers in the Middle and Bottom 40 brackets.”
Under the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) return to work programme, Najib said, more than 70 per cent insured workers were rehabilitated and returned to the workforce.
Until March, he said, 1,373 workers had benefited from the state-of-the-art Socso rehabilitation centre based in Malacca.
“This is the only such comprehensive centre available in Southeast Asia.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Labour Day celebrations at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre yesterday. With him are Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem (on Najib’s right) and his deputy, Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib (second from Najib’s right).