Employment insurance Bill on hold

, , Leave a comment

The Government has decided to put the Employment Insurance System (EIS) Bill on hold to allow for more engagements with the stakeholders, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the Cabinet felt that employers and employees must have an in-depth analysis of the content of the Bill first.

“The Cabinet views that further engagement or maximum consultation on the Bill and its model should be carried out.

“This is why four ministers have been assigned to meet various organisations and listen to their views.

“Only then will we report back to the Cabinet,” he said.

Other than Dr Wee, they are Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low.

Dr Wee said the ministers will meet, among others, the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, SME Association, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Riot, who also confirmed the postponement of the Bill, said the Cabinet needed more time to engage with employers.
Johari said the scheme was “much needed” for the country as it benefitted the workers.

“An example is when a company goes bust suddenly and is unable to pay compensation; with this scheme, the workers now will get a portion of their insured salary to help them while they find another job,” Johari told The Star yesterday.

“We don’t want to be in a situation of creating another Socso or Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF),” he added.

The EIS Bill, which was first tabled in Parliament on Tuesday by Riot, will see the creation of an insurance scheme for laid- off workers while increasing their re-employability following their job loss.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan welcomed the Cabinet’s move for discussions, saying that there was no limitation period of contribution and the chance of getting any benefit was only about 0.6%.

“Chances are, you won’t get anything when you contribute, so this is where a defined period of contribution must be set.
“It also talks about a wage support system, such as retraining, but that is already being conducted by the HRDF, which collects monthly levies from employers,” said Shamsuddin.

Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said he was happy that the minister was willing to allow consultation with stakeholders, and commended Johari for not pushing the Bill through although it was at the final stage.

Wong pointed out that his calculation on the contributions and payout concluded that both the workers and employers were being made to pay much more than reasonable.

“Then, the Bill is a form of taxation and affects some 6.8 million workers,” said Wong in a statement.