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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 -- A total of 99,696 workers were laid off between January and Nov 27 this year due to the spread of COVID-19, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim.
He said they include highly skilled workers comprising managers (13,109 people); professionals (26,079 people); technicians and associate professionals (19,095 people).
“All of them who earned RM4,000 and above (per month) are not listed in the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) system that we provide to help those who have lost their jobs,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
He was replying to a question from M. Kula Segaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) who wanted to know why the Human Resources Ministry did not include workers in the management category as the subsidy recipients when statistics show that highly skilled workers made up a total of 59 per cent of unemployment rate in the country.
Awang said although the government had implemented various initiatives and economic stimulus packages as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, layoff was inevitable in certain sectors due to factors that were beyond employers’ control.
He said the factors include the closure of businesses; downsizing; Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS); Mutual Agreement Separation Scheme (MSS); critical financial problems; partial closure; takeover of companies and relocation.
“Among the sectors involved are manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage, wholesalers and retailers as well as construction and transportation,” he said.
Awang said it was estimated that 75 per cent of the total number of workers who lost their jobs were from the B40 group earning RM4,000 and below.
Therefore, he said PSU was introduced to help worst-affected workers from the B40 group.
However, those in the management category who have had their services terminated are still covered under the EIS (Employment Insurance System) Act (Act 800) subject to a maximum pay of RM4,000, he added.
“This means that workers including those at the managerial level who earned more than RM4,000 will get benefits such as the Job Search Allowance,” Awang said.
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