FMM should air grouses on EIS to HR Ministry: Finance Ministry

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN


PUTRAJAYA: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) should air their grouses over the Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) with the Human Resource Ministry, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said today.

He suggested that FMM representatives meet with its minister, Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, himself if they feel that they were not consulted on the EIS.

"I suggest FMM meet the minister if they claim that they were not consulted or engaged with on the matter. I am sure the minister will give them some time to consult on the issue," Johari told reporters after a TN50 Dialogue Session held in conjunction with the Finance Ministry's Open Day here.

However, he stressed that the Cabinet decided to implement the EIS after being told that stakeholders were consulted.

Yesterday, the FMM had requested that the government defer and review the implementation of the EIS, as it would be an added tax burden to employers and employees.

Its president, Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, said the 0.5 per cent contribution rate would be too high to commensurate with the small number of retrenchments in this country.

Acknowledging FMM's request, Johari said further engagements would help shed light on the matter.

"I know the FMM wants to create added value for employees after considering that many companies are incapable of paying compensation to retrenched employees.

"Therefore, it is best if the matter is discussed with the (Richard) himself," he added.

When asked if the retrenchment rate in the country has reached an alarming level, Johari said the figures are still small and manageable, as opposed to what has been claimed.

"This is why the government is coming up with the EIS. We want to protect future generations, so in the event they are faced with retrenchment, this insurance scheme will be able to help them," he explained.

Yesterday, Riot said the government has completed a three-year study on the proposed EIS, involving 6.5 million workers in the private sector, and engaged relevant parties on the scheme.

The EIS is scheduled to be implemented on Jan 1, next year, while interest payments will be made from Jan 1, 2019.

It was first introduced in Budget 2015 to assist retrenched workers by giving temporary financial assistance, and providing opportunities for re-skilling and up-skilling.