PUTRAJAYA: The new Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS), aimed at helping workers who have lost their jobs to get financial aid and find new employment, has taken three years to be formulated, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem today.
"After going through four presentations and engagements with the National Economic Council (NEC), the scheme finally received the green light in January.
"The proposed scheme was also brought to the cabinet several times before it was finally approved," he told reporters after the presentation of the ministry's Excellent Services Awards (APC) 2016 here today.
Riot said the ministry's official had also visited several countries including Japan and South Korea to study the workability and effectiveness of the scheme for workers if they were retrenched.
"We had 35 engagements with employment companies and industry players. The EIS is expected to be implemented by Jan 1, 2018 while interest payments will be made from Jan 1, 2019," he said.
Riot said the EIS was expected to be tabled in Parliament in June or July this year.
The EIS was first introduced in the 2015 Budget to assist retrenched workers by giving temporary financial assistance, and provide opportunities for reskilling and up-skilling.
Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the move will benefit some 6.5 million employees nationwide.
He said the insurance would provide financial assistance and new job opportunities for those who have lost their source of employment.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the EIS would be funded via contributions from employees and employers, and managed by the Social Security Organisation (Socso).