Government Tables Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS)

The government tabled the Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) bill to aid retrenched workers with bridging benefits and allowances. It seeks to provide an insurance system for workers who have lost their employments by providing certain benefits and re-employment placement programme.

The EIS is expected to promote active labour market policies. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot (pix), who tabled the bill in the Dewan Rakyat today, said that the bill will go for second reading in this sitting. The scheme, which will be implemented by the Social Security Organisation (Socso), will require specific contributions from both the employer and employee. It will see the setting up of a committee to advise its board on the implementation and investment of the Employment Insurance Fund.

It requires all companies in the industries with even with one employee to register itself under the scheme. Any employer who fails to register his industry within the given period of time will be committing an offence and shall be liable to RM10,000 fine or maximum two years jail or both.

It provides three schedules of rates of contributions, which may be revised every three years if the Minister gives the green light. With the implementation of the law, retrenched workers will be entitled to benefits and job search allowance for a specified period till the worker finds a new job.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in March said he expects EIS to be enforced in January next year, with interest payments made on Jan 1, 2019.

It was reported that with the scheme, both employers and employees will pay 0.25% worth of employees’ salaries into a common pool under Socso. Najib had said the EIS is a social security net that will affect some 6.5 million local workers in the private sector.

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