Foreign workers also entitled to Socso protection – Minister


(From left) A foreign worker accepts a cheque from Kulasegaran, as Griffin and Marcus look on.

MIRI: Employers who hire foreign workers will be strictly monitored to ensure that their foreign workers would also be protected under the Social Security Organisation (Socso) scheme, effective from Jan 1 this year, says Minister of Human Resources M Kulasegaran.

“When the federal government decided to extend the Socso coverage to all foreign workers (effective) from that date, the implementation was more of a ‘soft landing’, with the employers encouraged to contribute to their foreign workers,” he told reporters during a press conference at the Socso office here yesterday.

He said this was the government’s strategy to put foreign workers under the ‘protection radar’.

In Miri alone, there were 28 compensation cases involving foreign workers last year, which resulted in total payout of RM19,770.

In this respect, Socso Miri manager Griffin Francis Manggie said RM13,270 was paid out to those under 26 temporary disabilities cases.

Adding on, Kulasegaran also reminded self-employed individuals to take up Self Employment Social Security Scheme to protect themselves and their family members.

Nineteen sectors under this scheme include carriage and delivery of goods and/or food; agriculture; livestock and livestock production; the taking of forest products; fisheries; preparation and sale of food; manufacturing products; construction work; hawking or trading; online business; information technology; collecting and processing data; agent services; professional, scientific and technical; private support services; performance, film activities, artistic and graphic work; household services; service of accommodation premises; and services in care, treatment and recovery of health – either mental, physical or social.

“Though it is optional, the government has taken the initiative to allow self-employed people to take up this scheme, so that they would be covered by Socso. The amount to be contributed depends on their choice.”

The scheme, which kicked off in 2017, initially focused on taxi and e-hailing drivers.

“As at last year, about 20 per cent of taxi and e-hailing drivers in the country had taken up the scheme,” said the minister.

Socso Sarawak director Philip Sangkan, Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s representative Peter Hee, and Democratic Action Party (DAP) Long Lama branch chairman Marcus Hugo were among those present at the press conference.