Thursday, January 22, 2009

If you lose your job, SOCSO pays you for 6 months maximum in Thailand

45,000...then 170, maybe even more workers in Malaysia will lose their jobs, but the concern is whether they would be entitled to receive any payment/benefits from the government during this time when they do not have a job.

Interestingly, the Social Security Scheme in our neighbouring Thailand do provide for workers who have lost their jobs unemployment benefits (i.e. 50% salary - but not more than RM1,5000) for at least 180 days (6 months)...

Even if you resign, you are entitled to 30% salary for 180 days...

Malaysia, unfortunately do not have such a good scheme in place, BUT we must have our laws amended, implement to ensure such a scheme for the benefit of workers, their families/dependents...

Having made contributions towards unemployment for not less than 6 months within a period of 15 months prior to unemployment

Terms and conditions giving rise to the entitlement:
1. Must apply for registration of the unemployed at the State Unemployment Office within 30 days without having to wait for the Unemployment Certificate from the Employer as to declare the entitlement tentatively.

2. Is capable of performing the work and is ready to take on suitable job as offered.

3. Must not reject the job training.

4. Must report to the Employment Office for not less than 1 time per month.

5. The unemployed must not be terminated from employment thanks to:
- Dishonest on duty;
- Commission of criminal offense to the detriment of the employer;
- Serious infringement upon working rules, or regulation or lawful working order;
- Abandoning the duty for 7 days consecutively without good reasons;
- Recklessness which causes serious harms to the Employer;
- Having been sentenced to imprisonment by Court judgment.

6. Must not be the person entitled to old age benefit.

7. Shall be entitled to receiving the benefit starting from the 8th day from the date of unemployment with the last employer.

8. Is not a voluntary insured under Section 39.

The Entitlement Benefits you shall receive:

In case of termination of employment:
- Unemployment benefit for not more 180 days per year at the rate of 50 % of the wage calculated on the basis of maximum contributions of 15,000 Baht.

In case of resignation:
- Unemployment benefit for not more than 90 days per year at the rate of 30 percent of the wage calculated on the basis of maximum amount of contributions but not more than 15,000 Baht shall be payable. If in the duration of 1 year, there was more than 1 application for the unemployment benefit, the counting of the unemployment benefit receiving period in total shall not exceed 180 days; the compensation benefit for loss of income shall be paid on monthly installment basis by crediting to the Bank Account as notified by the Insured.

Now, this should be over and above the normal benefits available to Malaysian workers pursuant to the Employment (Termination and Lay–Off Benefits) Regulations, 1980, but note that this benefit is only available ' an employee who has been employed under a continuous contract of service for a period of not less than twelve months ending with the relevant date..'. What about others that do not fall within this category? - and noting the changing practices of employment practiced by Malaysian employers in recent years. In short, our provisions in law of the termination or lay-off benefits is seriously lacking.

6. Amount of termination or lay-off benefits payment.

(1) Subject to the provisions of these Regulations, the amount of termination or lay-off benefits payment to which an employee is entitled in any case shall not be less than —

(a) ten days’ wages for every year of employment under a continuous contract of service with the employer if he has been employed by that employer for a period of less than two years; or

(b) fifteen days’ wages for every year of employment under a continuous contract of service with the employer if he has been employed by that employer for two years or more but less than five years; or

(c) twenty days’ wages for every year of employment under a continuous contract of service with the employer if he has been employed by that employer for five years or more,

and pro-rata as respect an incomplete year, calculated to the nearest month.

Now, the law in Malaysia provides for termination and lay-off benefits, but alas the workers, even though entitled, may not get anything... and our Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) did in 1998 try to propose the setting up of National Retrenchment Scheme under SOCSO/Perkeso (Social Security Organisation). However, MTUC's concern was primarily '...when companies voluntarily wind up their operations, abruptly close down their business without prior notice, are put under receivership or relocate their operations to other countries...' But alas, I do not think our UMNO-led BN government which seem to be more concerned about the welfare of companies and their oweners, rather than those of the workers, their families and their dependents did anything about that at all.

But, moving on, we have to amend our laws so that the welfare of those unemployed and their families/dependents are taken care off. For a start, the provision of benefits to the unemployed (as is already practiced in neighbouring Thailand) for at least 6 months should be made law in Malaysia.

We want definite rights to such benefits in law in Malaysia.

I hope that the Pakatan Rakyat and other concerned parties also campaign for this.

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