Domestic helpers to be covered under social security plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Local and foreign domestic helpers are set to benefit from the government’s expansion of social security protection, with approximately 100,000 workers in this segment slated to be covered.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, who announced this, said the Cabinet has approved the proposal to expand the social security coverage to domestic helpers under the Employees Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4) and Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (Act 800).

“The government hopes to enforce this expansion through these regulations that is expected to be implemented on June 1, ” he told reporters before the start of the 2021 Socso Buka Puasa event here yesterday.

With the expansion of the Act, Saravanan said domestic helpers who are Malaysians or Permanent Residents contributing to Socso will be protected under the Employment Injury Scheme and the Disability Scheme under Act 4, as well as the Employment Insurance System under Act 800.

For foreign domestic workers, he said they will be protected under Act 4 of the Employment Injury Scheme.

Saravanan said these domestic workers comprise, among others, those who work in informal sectors such as drivers, gardeners and babysitters.

He noted that the contribution paid by the employer and employee will follow the current contribution rate under Act 4 and Act 800.

“A total of 104,400 domestic helpers comprising 15,000 Malaysians and Permanent Residents, as well as 89,400 foreigners are expected to benefit from this, ” he said.

Saravanan said this expansion of coverage will protect the domestic helpers who previously did not qualify for coverage under Act 4 and Act 800.

Separately, Saravanan said that Socso’s interest payments have shown an increasing trend every year that was in line with expanding social safety nets and the improvement of benefits.

“Last year, Socso paid an interest amounting to RM4.25bil compared to RM4.2bil in 2019 and RM3.8bil in 2018. This total is an increase from RM3.6bil in 2017 and RM3.3bil in 2016, ” he said.

During the event, Saravanan handed interest payments of around RM600,000 to 13 Socso recipients. The ceremony was also attended by Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed.

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