Out in force: Some of the workers waving the Jalur Gemilang during the 2017 Workers Day celebrations in Putrajaya. — MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star
PUTRAJAYA: Workers who lose their jobs in the private sector will be protected by the country’s first Employment Insurance Scheme (SIP) which takes off next year with a RM70mil government injection.
The money will fund the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) financial benefits under the scheme.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who disclosed this yesterday, said the scheme would cover the 6.5 million workers in the sector.
“Under SIP, employees will get temporary financial assistance to support themselves and their families while they look for new jobs.
“They will also get support through job-matching programmes and career training.
“The SIP is a long-term measure to also ensure sustainable economic growth during a recession,” the Prime Minister said in his Workers Day speech at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
The scheme is expected to be implemented on Jan 1, next year, with payment of benefits to start on Jan 1, 2019.
In March, Najib announced that SIP would add to the efficiency of the labour market through a better system of matching supply and demand, and lead to increased productivity and competitiveness of the industries.
He said similar schemes in other countries have shown that the initiative stabilises the economy and helps sustain economic activities, especially during times of economic crisis.
Najib said laws were being drafted for SIP, which was expected to be tabled at the next Parliament session.
“I hope all parties, especially employers, will support the implementation of SIP,” he added.
He also announced that the Government was looking to extend the Employment Injury Scheme (EIS) coverage to more informal jobs, such as fishermen, artists, farmers and petty traders.
To begin on June 1, the scheme will first cover about 100,000 self-employed taxi drivers and drivers working with ride-hailing services such as Uber and GrabCar.
“We want to expand the scope in stages to cover the other informal jobs. These workers will be protected if they are involved in accidents while on duty or suffer from occupational diseases, just like workers in the formal sector,” Najib said.