KUCHING: A review on the Employment Insurance System (EIS) will be carried out rather than having the policy repealed.
Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said the Pakatan Harapan federal government will come up with the best policy to keep the EIS going.
In an exclusive interview yesterday, he said the EIS aimed to protect the interest of individuals who had undergone retrenchment.
“Even though this EIS was introduced and implemented by the previous government, the PH government has no intent to repeal it, and the contribution rate will remain at 0.2 per cent,” he told The Borneo Post’s sister paper Oriental Daily in Kuala Lumpur.
Kulasegaran said the government is expected to collect about RM479 million in contributions this year, benefiting 57,282 retrenched individuals.
The EIS took effect last Jan 1 following the passing of the EIS Act 2017 in parliament. Under the Act, employers and employees are each required to contribute between five sen and RM7.90 monthly.
Since the EIS fund can be mobilised only starting next year, the previous government has requested the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to provide RM112 million as the temporary assistance.
According to Kulasegaran, such assistance will be continued until a review is expected by the end of this year.
On whether the contribution rate of 0.2 per cent was a bit too low, he said it was premature to determine whether it was so, but assured that the PH government will work on the best policy to manage the EIS fund.
As of June 8, he said a total of 10,551 individuals had applied for the EIS temporary assistance.
He added that over RM4.4 million worth of assistance had been doled out to a total of 7,761 applications which had been approved.
In the meantime, Kulasegaran said the federal government is in the midst of proposing an amendment to the Act.
The proposed amendment, according to him, is about doing away with the requirement of getting an approval from the minister in-charge in order for the Industrial Court to proceed with cases.
He said when such requirement is done away with, the Industrial Court can attend to various cases as soon as possible.
He disclosed that some 1,600 industrial cases were sitting on his desk waiting for his approval when he assumed office.
As a result, many cases faced a delay of at least five months, he said.
He felt that these cases should be attended to and solved within 31 days, particularly when they were dealing with retrenched individuals who ended up unemployed.