Ministry reveals 37,699 workers lost their jobs last year

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PUTRAJAYA: A total of 37,699 workers were terminated last year of which 39.4% (14,848 workers) were via the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) while 60.6% (22,851 workers) were laid off.

The human resources ministry said the majority of the terminations reported to the Labour Department (JTK) involved local workers (32,552 workers) or 86.3% while 13.7% or 5,147 were foreign workers.

“The termination of workers last year was actually much lower compared to 2015,” said the ministry in a reply today when referring to reports quoting the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) as saying that more workers would lose their jobs this year.

In 2015, 44,343 workers were affected, whereby, 19,891 workers (44.9%) were through VSS and 24,452 workers (55.1%) via the normal termination process.

The ministry said the highest termination last year was in the manufacturing sector, 45.9%, followed by the wholesale and retail sectors (20.7%); finance and insurance (12.1%) and mining and quarrying (6.6%).

“This was different from the termination in 2015 which was dominated by the financial and insurance sectors (39.8%); followed by manufacturing (20.8%) and transportation and storage sectors (14.7%) followed by the issue of workers’ termination by MAS,” it said.

The ministry said it was compulsory for employers to inform JTK a month ahead if they wanted to terminate their workers.

According to the ministry, normally workers were terminated due to closure, excess workers due to restructuring, reduction in output, merger of companies, technological changes and takeovers.

In dealing with the issue of termination of workers, the ministry had also set up 1Malaysia Outplacement Centre (1MOC), under Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd (PSMB), which acted as a one-stop centre for Malaysian workers who were terminated.