Employees fired for workplace misconduct not eligible for EIS coverage, chief says

EIS chief executive Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman speaks during a press conference after a briefing on the Employment Insurance System in Kuala Lumpur January 10, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
EIS chief executive Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman speaks during a press conference after a briefing on the Employment Insurance System in Kuala Lumpur January 10, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Employees who are terminated for misconduct at work will not be covered by the new Employment Insurance System (EIS) fund, its chief executive Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman disclosed today.

Mohd Sahar said that cases relating to professional misconduct remain a relatively grey area, as such cases can be too technical in nature.

However, he said that EIS will pay workers who are implicated in such cases, once they are cleared of misconduct charges.

“For those workers who are terminated for misconduct, for full EIS payment, we are not going to pay, because we have to wait until the department of investigation or the industrial court decides on the matter.

“If the workers are found not guilty, then we will pay, but sometimes these cases may take too long. One year, two years,” he said, acknowledging however that such a system will be burdensome for the employees.

Mohd Shahar said that the fund however will still observe the laws under the EIS sternly.

“That’s why in many other countries, even for misconduct, they will just pay. The misconduct case will be settled separately.

“I do not know in Malaysia. We would like the EIS to be implemented very seriously until we learn about the severity of the misconduct, then we just follow the regulations, “ he added, saying that EIS will be conducting talks with the stakeholders and the industrial court to determine under which situation a payout can or cannot be made, for workers fired for misconduct.

Mohd Shahar said that for 2018, the EIS fund projects to collect RM480 million in contributions from employers and employees.

He said to date, 450,000 employers have already registered for the EIS, while the fund has 6.6 million registered employees in its database.

The Dewan Rakyat passed the EIS Bill on October 27 last year, with the first payout scheduled to begin on January 1, 2019.

Employers can also begin registering and making payments for contributions through Socso’s Assist Portal.

The EIS seeks to extend welfare coverage for the country’s 6.5 million private workers by compelling employers to contribute additional payment and bar them from making cuts to wages and fixed perks.

It is primarily aimed at helping to provide financial assistance to private workers who have lost their jobs until they find new employment. 

* Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported Datuk Mohd Sahar Darusman as Sosco chief executive. It has since been corrected.