Better coverage for foreign workers

13 May 2019 / 18:58 H.

    WE refer to “Treat migrant workers right” (Dignity for All, May 9). The writer states that the Social Security Organisation (Socso) gives some coverage to migrant workers with a maximum claim of RM23,000, varying with the age of the worker.

    We wish to clarify that Socso’s coverage for foreign workers under the Foreign Workers Employment Injury Scheme (EI Scheme) has no specific period as long as the workers are in employment.

    The EI Scheme, under the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4), provides protection against accident or an occupational disease and commuting accidents. Under the scheme, foreign workers are entitled to medical benefit, temporary disablement benefit, permanent disablement benefit, dependants’ benefit, funeral benefit, constant attendance allowance and rehabilitation. They are not entitled to education benefit, vocational training, dialysis treatment and return to work programme.

    Foreign workers are not covered under the Invalidity Pension Scheme of Act 4. The benefits offered to foreign workers under Socso’s EI Scheme are better than those provided under the Foreign Workers Compensation Scheme (FWCS).

    The coverage of foreign workers under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952 (Act 273) through the FWCS is dependent on the validity of the scheme, which is based on renewal.

    For accidental death during working hours, the compensation is capped at RM25,000 while the maximum is RM23,000 if death occurs outside working hours. For permanent disablement (PD), the maximum claim is RM23,000.

    There is no expiration date for the coverage under the EI Scheme unless such period is clearly mentioned under a written contract of service, or when the working permit has expired or the foreign worker is no longer employed. The PD benefit under the scheme is based on 90% of the insured foreign worker’s average daily wage, subject to a minimum of RM30 and a maximum of RM118.50.

    For funeral, the FWCS provides RM4,800 for funeral management to be taken to the country of origin, while the EI Scheme provides RM6,500 in funeral benefit if the foreign worker dies in Malaysia and is repatriated to the country of origin. For a worker buried in Malaysia, his or her eligible beneficiary will receive RM2,000. For a foreign worker who had an accident in Malaysia but later dies in the country of origin due to the injury, the eligible beneficiary will receive RM2,000 in funeral benefit.

    Socso’s coverage for foreign workers took effect on Jan 1 after the government decided to place foreign workers’ social security protection (excluding domestic servants) under Act 4.

    For existing foreign workers, their employers have to register them with Socso once their FWCS policies expire subject to the cooling-off period, which ends on Dec 31, 2019. By Jan 1, 2020, the EI scheme applies to all legal foreign workers.

    Social Security Organisation

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