Subsidies to help minimise retrenchments

Mohammad Ibrahim Hamid

KUCHING: The government’s wage subsidy programme and Employment Retention Programme (ERP) will help to minimise retrenchments, said Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak chairman Mohammad Ibrahim Hamid.

“We should check whether affected companies have applied for the wage subsidies – that is, a subsidy of RM1,200 per employee for companies with less than 75 employees, RM800 per employee for companies with 76 to 200 employees, and RM600 per employee for companies with 201 employees and above,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Saturday.

He was responding to recent comments by a spokesperson from the Labour Department Sarawak that about 150 employers reportedly had plans to lay off employees due to difficulties caused by extended business closure during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Mohammad Ibrahim urged affected employees to check with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) whether their employers had received such assistance from the government.

“Also, they should look out for the loss of employment remedy under the Employment Insurance System (EIS),” he advised.

He said that the sectors most affected were tourism, manufacturing, construction, professional and technical, information and communication technology (ICT), financial, among others.

According to the state Labour Department, Kuching Division had recorded the highest number of cases linked to unemployment and other workforce-related issues during the MCO period.

“Logically, being the state capital where most of the businesses are operating and most of the headquarters for state-based businesses are located, Kuching would definitely record the highest (number of cases),” commented Mohammad Ibrahim.