KUALA LUMPUR: Workers who are dismissed due to misconduct at their workplace are not eligible to apply for the Employment Insurance System (EIS), said Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman.
The Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) EIS chief said they would need to wait until such allegations against them were cleared completely before they were entitled to benefits.
“If a worker is found not guilty, we will pay them the benefit but these cases may take some time.
“It could be one or two years, so it’s unfair to these workers,” he said during the EIS briefing for the hospitality industry yesterday.
Mohd Sahar said in other countries that have implemented the EIS, such cases of misconduct would be dealt with separately.
“In many other countries, these workers will get paid first for loss of employment.
“We hope the EIS will be implemented seriously in accordance with the regulations,” said Mohd Sahar.
He added that there was still room for Socso to learn from cases of misconduct and that regulations and guidelines being developed on the matter.
“For Socso, we would like to pay them first before settling the misconduct cases separately.
“We can study the cases and discuss with the industrial court on the situations in which we can and cannot pay,” said Mohd Sahar.
He also said the unemployment rate was still low as only about 36,000 people were retrenched or lost their jobs last year.
He said the unemployment rate last year stood at 4%, which was “normal” for a developing nation,
Over the last 10 to 20 years, the retrenchment figure hardly exceeded 40,000 annually, he added.
Mohd Sahar said he was puzzled by the figure given by Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, who said some 50,000 Malaysians were expected to lose their jobs this year.
Shamsuddin claimed that foreign workers’ levy and the EIS were among the reasons.
“We are wondering how MEF came up with that figure,” said Mohd Sahar.
The EIS, he added, also covered workers taking up voluntary or mutual separation schemes, or those made redundant due to business restructuring or closure.
Last October, the Dewan Rakyat passed the EIS Bill, which creates an insurance scheme for laid-off employees to claim a portion of the insured salary for a period of between three and six months.
The monthly contributions to the scheme are to be split 50-50 between employers and employees and are based on fixed rates, ranging from the lowest at 10 sen for those earning RM30 a month to RM59.30 a month, based on a maximum salary sum of RM4,000.
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