KUALA LUMPUR: Retrenched workers who are eligible for the Employment Insurance System (EIS) should apply for the benefits, says Datuk Mahfuz Omar (pic).
Those who have been laid off could approach any of the 54 offices of the Social Security Organisation (Socso) nationwide or apply online (www.perkeso.gov.my/sip), said the Deputy Human Resources Minister.
“So far, more than 27,400 workers have received their EIS interim benefit,” he said.
Applications must be filed within 60 days from the day the worker was retrenched.
The EIS was introduced in January to ensure a social security net for retrenched workers.
Mahfuz, who was at a ceremony yesterday to present full-fledged EIS benefits to 25 people who were retrenched this month, said that as of Dec 14, 22,268 workers had applied for the EIS.
The EIS is a financial scheme aimed at helping people who lost their jobs until they find new employment. The contributions are collected in a fund to provide aid to the affected workers.
Among others, it covers forced resignation, retrenchment, resignation due to an employer’s failure to comply with the terms of contract, resignation due to sexual harassment at the workplace and closure of the company or factory.
Under the EIS, workers who are retrenched will be eligible to receive interim benefits in the form of cash allowances for a maximum of three months.
Those who are retrenched in December onwards and have the minimum 11 months of EIS contributions qualify for the full-fledged benefits, which include job hunting, re-employment and reduced wage allowances.
The recipients yesterday were among the first batch who received their full-fledged benefits for the first month, ranging from RM1,700 to RM3,160, depending on their monthly contributions.
Also present at yesterday’s ceremony were Socso CEO Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed and EIS head Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman.
Mahfuz said the government had no plans to increase the current 0.2% EIS contribution rate on both employers and employees, as the fund was enough for now to assist retrenched workers.
As of Dec 14, he said Socso had given out RM16.45mil in interim benefits.
Meanwhile, Mahfuz said that the manufacturing sector recorded the highest retrenchment rate with 7,138 workers (32.1%), followed by construction and the financial sector with 1,933 (8.7%) and 1,754 (7.9%) people this year.
“If we look at job categories, clerical support staff were among the highest who were laid off with 4,089 people (18.4%).
“Next is sales and services employees at 3,807 people (17.1%) and professionals at 3,671 people (16.5%),” he added.
The majority of those who lost their jobs had salaries below RM2,000, affecting 10,514 people (47.2%), followed by 8,681 workers (39%) earning between RM3,000 and RM4,999; and 831 people (3.5%) earning RM10,000 and above.
“Selangor and Kuala Lumpur recorded the most number of retrenched workers with 11,068 people, which is almost half of the total number nationwide.
“This is followed by Johor (2,699) and Penang (1,351),” he said.
Mahfuz said that 8,027 mana-gers, professionals and technicians, and associate professionals were laid off, which was one-third of the total number.