Employers must make EPF, Socso contributions to part-timers

BAHAU: Employers must make EPF and Socso contributions for their part-time employees as long as they work between 30% and 70% of the number of hours put in by regular staff.

This means that if a regular employee puts in eight hours a day, those who put in between 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours qualify as part-time employees.

The number of hours can also be accummulated over several days in a week as long as the arrangement is agreeable to both parties.

This means the particular part-time employee can also work only during the weekends if he so wished.

Human Resources Minister Datuk S Subramaniam said Wednesday that employers would have no excuse not to make the contributions for these workers.

"The Employment Act has been amended to stipulate who a part-time worker is. We hope employers will not plead ignorance from now on," he told reporters after presenting spectacles to needy students here.

Dr Subramaniam was responding to queries about who qualifies as a part-time employee.

From Oct 1, employers who hire part-time employees will be required by law to make EPF and Socso contributions for their workers.

The move will benefit some 12mil existing employees as well as some six million latent workers comprising housewives, students, under graduates and the disabled.

Dr Subramaniam said the amendment was needed as there were many Malaysians who had professional qualifications and only worked on a part-time basis but did not enjoy EPF and Socso coverage.

Asked if the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) had objected to the directive as it would increase their operational expenditure, he said the matter had been discussed at length over several sessions.

"This is a win-win situation. We spoke with the employers and they have no objections to this," he said.

Asked on the amount employers would have to pay in terms of EPF and Socso, Dr Subramaniam said this would be pro-rated.

"It depends on the amount of hours the employee puts in a month. We already know the EPF contribution rate for an employee who works eight hours a day and how much his boss contributes.

"Employers will be able to pro-rate the EPF and Socso rates amount based on this formula," he said.

At present, employers contribute 12% of their employees' basic salary every month to the EPF while the employee chips in 11%. As for Socso, bosses pay 1.75% of the worker's salary while the worker pays 0.75%.

Asked if employees could have two sources for their EPF and Socso contributions, Dr Subramaniam said this was “not wrong”.

On a separate matter, Dr Subramaniam said he had received a report on the preliminary investigations into the death of a foreign worker at a manufacturing facility in Tebrau in Johor last Saturday.

"We have to establish if it the Nepali worker was the one who refused treatment for fever or if it was the management that delayed it and eventually resulting in his death," he said.

He said it was the company's responsibility to ensure their foreign workers had access to healthcare.

"If we find that the management had been negligent, then we will institute action against it as provided under the Employment Act," he said.

Employees at JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd had turned unruly on Monday following the death of the Nepali and refused to report for duty.

They had claimed that the management had delayed sending him for treatment despite being sick for two days.

On Tuesday, the management agreed to meet several of the workers' demands including increasing their wages.

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