PUTRAJAYA: The government will announce its decision on the proposed establishment of the Employment Insurance Scheme to assist retrenched workers soon, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib.
He added the proposed scheme was one of the key policy interventions that Malaysia was keen to explore to be better prepared for any eventualities and to ensure workers were not deprived of the necessary protection and remedy in law.
“A decision on this scheme will be made soon by the government,” he said at the opening of the Asean Seminar on Balancing Flexibility and Security in Labour Market here today.
He said ministry officials were having discussions and engagements with various parties with regards to the proposed scheme.
The employment insurance scheme was announced during Budget 2015 last year with the proposal to give temporary financial assistance, reskilling and upskilling for those retrenched by their employers.
Ismail said a similar scheme was available in almost all developed countries to provide a ‘safety valve’ for workers.
The ministry would also like to see a ‘better balance’ between the employers’ prerogatives to dismiss workers and the protections that needed to be accorded in the laws to ensure workers were not victimised, he said.
He added during the economic crisis of 1997 and 1998 and again in 2008 and 2009, Malaysia had had a steady increase of unfair dismissal cases filed at the Industrial Relations Department.
“After those periods, the cases of unfair dismissals have been at a normal pace and not worrying.
“But with the possible worldwide economic turndown that may possibly occur in the near future, we (the ministry) are getting worried that the dismissal and retrenchment cases will increase tremendously,” he added.