IPOH, Jan 25 ― Six former housing developer employees were the first recipients in Perak to received payment from a national fund acting as a safety net for jobless people until they secure work again.
Each of the six received RM600 each from the Perak Social Security Organisation (Socso) today, as their first payment under the Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS).
“The employer for the first batch of recipients ceased its operation last month,” Perak Socso director Noorhanita Mohamad told reporters after a presentation ceremony here.
“The amount may be little but it helps while the recipients are looking for jobs.”
She said five more ex-workers from a different company would get their money on February 3 as Soco needs about a week to process an application and two more weeks for the payment to be channelled directly into the recipients’ bank accounts.
“To apply for the scheme, they need to submit a copy of their termination letter and an application form available at any of our six branches in the state,” she added, noting that the first batch of recipients submitted their applications on January 10.
Earlier in her speech, Noorhanita said payment was supposed to start next year.
“This year's payment is from the RM135 million injection from the government,” she said.
She added that starting this month, employees and employers each need to contribute 0.2 per cent of the salary into the scheme.
Noorhanita also said to qualify for the second and third payment, recipients need to prove to Socso that they tried looking for jobs.
“We will also assist them to improve on their employability by sending them for training or retraining,” she added.
Perak Socso recorded an increase of 9.39 per cent in benefit payment for 2017.
“Last year, we paid RM49.9 million compared to RM45.6 million in 2016,” Noorhanita said, adding that most of the payment was for accident victims.
The presentation was made by state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
One of the first batch of Perak EIS recipients Jamilah Shaari said she was laid off as her employer wanted to close his business due to his age.
The 50-year-old former technical clerk said she has started scouting for jobs but has not landed any yet.
“I need to continue working as I am helping my youngest son to pay off his National Higher Education Fund Corporation loan,” said the mother of three.
She added that her 22-year-old son could not work due to his epileptic condition.
Her colleague B. Pathmanathan, 53, said he had gone for two interviews but were rejected due to his age and health problems.
“Aside from heart problem, I am also suffering from a spine condition that made me unable to sit for too long,” said the former sales assistant.
The father of one son added that now the family was dependent on his 48-year-old wife, who works as a clerk.