Socso urges wider EIS coverage as jobs insurance claims rise

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 25 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: There is a need to review existing laws to widen the scope of coverage of the Employment Insurance System (EIS) to protect the most vulnerable segments of society, says the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

It said there had been an increase in EIS benefits claims, but the situation was still under control.

The agency said the EIS should also cover the self-employed in informal sectors.

It also said there was a need to give EIS laws the flexibility to introduce and implement various types of active labour market programmes capable of dealing with changes in occupations and skill needs, as well as to be ready for future shocks.

"In this regard, it is important to bear in mind that employment, unemployment issues, knowledge and skills are everyone's responsibility – employers, employees, institutions of higher learning and society at large.

"It's not for the government alone to shoulder this responsibility," Socso said in a statement on Saturday (April 25).

The EIS Bill was first tabled in Parliament in 2017, with employers and employees making contributions to the fund at the start of 2018.

It was officially rolled out in January last year.

Socso said the number of workers losing their jobs and claiming EIS benefits was still manageable, with the loss of employment figures still within the range of below 6,000 per month.

The agency, which comes under the Human Resources Ministry, said that it was monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis and advising the government of any unexpected increase.

As of April 22, EIS recorded a total of 205,342 applications from employers for the Wage Subsidy Programme introduced to mitigate the impact of the movement control order (MCO), covering 1.67 million workers.

The government has allocated RM13.8 bil for the programme for a period of three to six months to cover 4.8 million workers, particularly those employed by SMEs and micro businesses.

At the same time, over 25,411 employers applied for the Employment Retention Programme (ERP), covering 208,907 workers who are on unpaid leave.

As for post-Covid-19 initiatives, Socso said that all agencies under the Ministry were ready with various programmes and strategies to address mid-term and long-term unemployment issues particularly to help affected workers and for the unemployed to be gainfully employed.

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