Almost 100,000 jobless since January

03 Dec 2020 / 17:13 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Close to 100,000 people have lost their jobs since January this year, Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim told the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this was based on the Employment Insurance System (EIS) which showed 99,696 employees were laid off as of Nov 27.

He said they include highly skilled workers in the managerial category (13,109), professionals (26,079), and technicians and associate professionals (19,095).

He said these categories involved workers with a salary of RM4,000 and above.

“All those 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.

“However, those in the management category who have had their services terminated are still covered under the EIS, subject to a maximum pay of RM4,000,“ he said to a question from M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat).

Kulasegaran had why many people were being laid off despite the implementation of the Wage Subsidy and the Employment Retention Programmes.

Awang said individuals with a salary of more than RM4,000 would receive a job search allowance.

He said although the government had implemented various initiatives and economic stimulus packages as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, layoffs were inevitable in certain sectors.

He said the factors include the closure of businesses; downsizing; Voluntary Separation Scheme, Mutual Agreement Separation Scheme, critical financial problems, partial closure, takeover of companies and relocation.

He said there were employers in certain sectors who were forced to lay off staff due to unavoidable external factors.

“Among sectors that were affected because of the pandemic include the manufacturing sector, accommodation, food and beverage sector, wholesale and retail sector, transportation sector and others.

“An estimated 75% of the total number of workers who lost their jobs were from the B40 group earning RM4,000 and below,“ Awang said.

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