Sunday, May 10, 2020

COVID-19 - All workers(including all migrant workers) entitled to SOCSO benefits - Workers should not suffer for employer failures?

Ismail Sabri says that only about 60% of migrant workers are registered and covered under SOCSO, and the question is WHY should workers be penalized because employers broke the law and did not register their migrant workers - Not being registered, these workers may also lose out on their benefits in the event that they are victims of industrial accident that causes injury or death, and also if they become victims of Covid-19.  

He[Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob] added that more than 60 percent of foreign workers are contributors to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Covid-19 screenings were covered under the scheme.
All Migrant Workers should be covered by SOCSO fully as of 1 January 2020 - and, as such 100% of foreign workers(except for domestic workers) are covered by the SOCSO, and their Covid-19 screenings were covered under the scheme.

The SOCSO Act is very clear on this, and the failure of employers to register or make contributions, will not prejudice the worker who ought to be covered by SOCSO -  SOCSO can later sue the said employer to recover not just the overdue contributions but also the cost of providing the SOCSO benefits/entitlement to these workers, whichever is greater..So, employers who failed to register their employees and make contribution will pay...




They are all registered when they are employed..and the employer must do this at the point of employment.

5  All employees to be insured [EMPLOYEES' SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1969]

(1) Subject to this Act, all employees in industries to which this Act applies irrespective of the amount of wages shall be insured in the manner provided by this Act.

When is payment due and by whom?

7  Principal employer to pay contributions in the first instance
(1) The principal employer shall pay in respect of every employee, whether directly employed by him or through an immediate employer, both the employer's contribution and the employee's contribution.

9A  Contributions where industry or employee is not insured or registered
Contributions shall be payable in respect of employees from the month they enter into employment and such contributions are payable even though the industry to which this Act applies or the employees or both have not been insured or registered with the Organization:
Provided that an employer who has paid arrears of contributions in respect of an employee will only be entitled to recover from the wages payable notwithstanding the proviso to subsection 7(2) the employee's share of the contributions due within the last preceding six months prior to the date of payment.
2  Definitions
(19) "principal employer" means the owner of an industry or the person with whom an employee has entered into a contract of service or apprenticeship and includes-
(a) a manager, agent or person responsible for the payment of salary or wages to an employee;
(b) the occupier of a factory;
(c) the legal representative of a deceased owner or occupier;
(d) any government in Malaysia, department of any such government, local authority or statutory body and, where an employee is employed with any such government, department, authority or body or with any officer on behalf of any such government, department, authority or body, the officer under whom such employee is working:
Provided that no such officer shall be personally liable under this Act for anything in good faith done or omitted to be done by him as an officer of such employer;
(9) "immediate employer" in relation to employees employed by or through him, means a person who has undertaken the execution on the premises where the principal employer is carrying on his trade or business, profession, vocation, occupation or calling, or under the supervision of the principal employer or his agent, of the whole or any part of any work which is ordinarily part of the work of the trade or business, profession, vocation, occupation or calling, of the principal employer or is preliminary to the work carried on in, or incidental to the purpose of, any such trade or business, profession, vocation, occupation or calling, and includes a person by whom the services of an employee who has entered into a contract of service with him are temporarily lent or let on hire to the principal employer;
Note, the law is CLEAR - the principal employer pays first, even if the employee is yet to be registered.

IMPORTANT, the employer cannot recover from the worker(employee) his share of the contributions for periods more than 6 months later - so, if an employer failed to pay SOCSO contribution for 1 year, he pays all(both employer and employee share) for the 7th and 12th month, and can only recover from worker what ought to have been paid  being the employee's share of the contributions due within the last preceding six months prior to the date of payment.

If the employer fails to register and pay for MIGRANT WORKERS, then it is not the migrant worker who is penalized by loss of SOCSO benefits - including now the benefit of getting tests for an occupational disease - COVID-19.

Who are the documented migrant workers in Malaysia - well the government knows the moment the arrive in Malaysia, and the government knows who their employer is > so, that means all 100% of migrant workers are covered by SOCSO except for a domestic worker, etc ...

ENFORCEMENT by SOCSO and Government is shocking if it is true that about 40% of migrant workers are yet to be registered in SOCSO....Will these employers be now penalised and sent to Jail? 

Note, even if the employer did not register or pay the needed contributions, SOCSO must still provide the benefits the migrant worker is entitled...and have a right to recover later from the employer

48  Organisation's right where a principal employer fails or neglects to pay any contribution

(1) If any principal employer fails or neglects to pay any contribution which under this Act he is liable to pay in respect of any employee and by reason of it such person or his dependants become entitled to benefit on a lower scale, the Organization may, on being satisfied that the contribution should have been paid by the principal employer, pay to the person or their dependants the benefit at the rate to which he or they would have been entitled if the failure or neglect had not occurred and the Organization shall be entitled to recover from the principal employer either-
(i) the difference between the amount of benefit which has been paid by the Organization to the said person or his dependants and the amount of the benefit which would have been payable on the basis of the contributions which were in fact paid by the employer; or
(ii) twice the amount of the contribution which the employer failed or neglected to pay,
whichever is greater.
(2) The amount recoverable under this section may be recovered as a debt due to the Organization.
(3) This section shall not apply to invalidity pension.

In terms of Benefits to migrant workers, they do not receive some benefits as stated in EMPLOYEES’ SOCIAL SECURITY (EXEMPTION OF BENEFIT FOR FOREIGN WORKER) NOTIFICATION 2018.

(1) The Minister exempts a foreign worker from the following benefits:

(a) facilities for physical rehabilitation relating to dialysis treatment and facilities for vocational rehabilitation under section 57 of the Act; and
(b) education benefit under section 57A of the Act.

Save for that exemption, migrant workers are entitled to all benefits provided for by the SOCSO scheme just like all other workers in Malaysia. Should the benefits exempted to workers, based on their nationality, which is UNJUST be reviewed and removed. DIALYSIS - what is this exempted. A worker needing dialysis can still work, can he not. After all, at the point of employment, medical tests are conducted to ensure worker's health - so, if he subsequently requires DIALYSIS, should not that migrant worker get the SOCSO benefit of dialysis, or even 'physical rehabilitation' or 'vocational rehabilitation' for so long as he is in Malaysia, especially when it is caused(or needed by reason of an industrial accident or occupational disease while working for an employer in Malaysia?

For a long time, since 1/4/1993, migrant workers were exempted from the SOCSO  social protection scheme. This ended with the EMPLOYEES’ SOCIAL SECURITY (EXEMPTION OF FOREIGN WORKERS) (REVOCATION) NOTIFICATION 2018  PU(B) 735/2018 (with effect from 1/1/2019).

Before that migrant workers were covered by the the Workers Compensation Act, whereby if a worker dies, he is compensated by a mere RM20,000, and if he/she suffers permanent disability, then he/she gets RM23,000

Life is valued at RM20,000. For permanent disability, which means the worker will not be able to work for the rest of his life, the sum is also a miserable RM23,000. How long can these worker survive. Under workmen's compensation, it is just a one off payment. -4 Migrant Workers Burnt to death ...."heard the men screaming for help and then go silent.."


746 workers died in industrial accidents in Malaysia in 2008- see more details about the differences between SOCSO and the Workmen's Compensation scheme

See related posts:-

58 Groups:- Employers must pay all medical cost of workers especially when it is a work-related accident or an occupational disease.

2 migrants killed and others sent to hospital - If no passport, money, insurance - will they be treated?

Migrant Workers should not be charged 1st class rates at government hospitals in Malaysia

Nepali worker unncessarily dies because employer slow to act? This should stop



'We don't want what happened in Singapore to be repeated here'

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KUALA LUMPUR: It is crucial for foreign workers to undergo Covid-19 screening to avoid a drastic increase in positive cases like what happened in Singapore, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

He urged employers to ensure their workers are tested, pointing out that that there was an increase in positive cases among foreign workers at a construction site in Ampang over the last three days.

Yesterday, the government issued an order for migrant workers nationwide to undergo a swab test.
Ismail Sabri said this precautionary measure is necessary because there were worries that a new cluster will emerge since there was a spike in Covid-19 positive cases among foreign workers.

"We don't want what happened in Singapore to be repeated here. There, the curve of positive cases had flattened but because there was a new cluster involving foreign workers, it rose drastically.

"I hope employers understand that we are doing this for the people of this country," he said.

He added that workers who test positive would be isolated and treated while those who tested negative can continue working.

If there are postive cases detected among workers at a business centre, the premises would be shut down immediately, he added.

"For example, if a positive case is detected at a factory, the factory will be closed,"

Ismail Sabri said in the early stage, swab tests would be done on foreign workers at construction sites starting in Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Territories and Selangor.

He added that more than 60 percent of foreign workers are contributors to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Covid-19 screenings were covered under the scheme.

Meanwhile, he said business operations in red zones are not allowed.

He also advised the public to keep on practising self-regulation and social distancing as well as other standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which began yesterday.

He said while most expected chaos since the movement restrictions were more lenient, it turned out that the first day of CMCO was under control with business premises owners and individuals seen adhering to SOPs.

"I am sure we can end the Movement Control Order (MCO) earlier than expected if we practise self-regulation and adhere to the SOPs," he said. - New Straits Times, 5/5/2020

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