THE Covid-19 pandemic has hit the economy hard, especially certain industries like hotels, airlines and tour agencies.
With more cautious spending driving down demand, companies are naturally taking measures to contain their operating costs in order to stay profitable. Retrenchment and voluntary separation schemes are among the actions taken by companies to stay afloat.
The government has come up with great measures through Penjana and other schemes to support the rehiring of workers. However, it should also introduce clear and updated guidelines on the payment of retrenchment benefits to workers not covered by the Employment Act 1955 (EA).
Workers aged 50 years and above who have been employed for more than 10 years should be paid adequate benefits when they lose their jobs either through retrenchment or voluntary separation schemes.
These workers may have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but the reality is employers might shy away from hiring them because of their age as well as higher salary expectations. Employers are likely to opt for those in the 35 to 50 age group.
Hopefully, the government will seriously look into this matter to ensure that loyal and long-serving employees get adequate benefit payments during the retrenchment exercises taking place, especially in those industries that are not so heavily impacted by the pandemic but are just taking measures to contain operating costs.
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