Jobs found for over 136,000 workers affected by pandemic

PETALING JAYA: The government has successfully found job placement for 136,396 workers who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Human Resources Minister Datuk M. Saravanan said the government realised the plight of workers who lost their jobs or had their income affected.

He added that the ministry had taken several measures via its agencies and departments to help those facing challenges.

“Through the first initiative, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) via the the Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (Act 800) had processed over 100,000 individuals who lost their jobs in 2020 and successfully found placements for 136,396 workers, ” he said in a Labour Day address yesterday.

This was followed by the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) which was implemented in three phases, he said.

“Under the first phase subsidy programme, a total of RM12.58bil was paid to 331,569 employers who employed over 2.7 million workers as of Sept 30 last year.

“Through PSU 2.0, RM442.53mil was paid to 96,566 employers representing more than 975,414 employees until Dec 31 last year.

“The government also extended the third phase of the programme targeting sectors that are still affected, including tourism and retail, ” he said.

As at April 9 this year, a total of RM312.78mil had been paid to 83,511 employers involving 932,109 workers, according to Saravanan.

He said in line with the Labour Day theme, the ministry had taken several initiatives to improve compliance with labour laws.

“Through this initiative, amendments to the Workers Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Amendment 2020) or Act 446, which was enforced on June 1,2020, had been extended to all employment sectors to ensure that employers provide housing facilities and workers’ accommodation.

“Meanwhile, through the Emergency (Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 which came into force on Feb 26,2021, improvements were made in terms of management of accommodation for foreign workers, one of the main causes of Covid-19 transmission, ” he said.Meanwhile, Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said closer collaboration between the tripartite partners, government, employees and employers would accelerate recovery.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor said the government must take improving labour to protect the welfare of over 15 million local registered workers and two million foreign workers seriously.

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