Human resources minister says Covid-19 employee retention scheme still on

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan says the Employment Retention Programme under Socso is still on and remains open to any employer that wishes to apply. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan says the Employment Retention Programme under Socso is still on and remains open to any employer that wishes to apply. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — The Employment Retention Programme (ERP) under the Social Security Organisation (Socso) is still on and remains open to any employer that wishes to apply, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

Saravanan, however, did not address directly yesterday’s controversy involving Socso’s Twitter account, but said that currently, the agency is still processing applications for the ERP and will distribute funds to companies that have been approved based on the conditions set.

“For your information, as of May 1, 2020, Socso has received 27,222 applications from employers involving 230,652 employees.

“The aid is paid to employees through their respective employers,” he said in a statement today.

Saravanan said the allocation provided by the government for the ERP is RM120 million.

Yesterday, a post on Socso’s Twitter account stated that the ERP had effectively ended on April 22 as its allocation was fully exhausted.

The now-deleted tweet had also claimed any applications submitted after that date would not be processed.

The post was in apparent response to a Twitter user who had asked the agency to confirm if an April 23 notice of the ERP’s closure was true.

Late last night, Socso issued a clarification to say that the post had gone up without the agency’s approval.

“With reference to a Twitter reply that has been in circulation and suggesting insufficient funds for the Employment Retention Programme (ERP), Socso would like to clarify the message was an unauthorised tweet that does not describe the actual progress of the ERP,” the statement read.

The ERP is specifically for private workers who are registered and contributing to the Employment Insurance System (EIS) and paid RM4,000 and below.

Under the programme, employees put on unpaid leave by their employers affected by Covid-19 will get immediate assistance in the form of RM600 per month.

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