PSM tells minister not to be cowed by employers over EIS

psmPETALING JAYA: PSM has called on Human Resources Minister Richard Riot not to be “threatened” by employers opposing the introduction of the Employment Insurance System (EIS) that would require them to contribute regularly to their workers’ welfare.

Its central committee member S Arutchelvan said the government should have the political will to implement the EIS bill, to be managed by the Social Security Organisation (Socso), as it would be a “safety net” legislation similar to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Socso.

He said Riot should not be shocked or surprised by the employers’ attitude in opposing even their revised monthly contribution rate from 0.5% of a worker’s salary to just 0.2%.

“The employers would do everything in their power to halt and delay the implementation of the EIS bill which is to be tabled in the coming Parliament sitting.

“For the employers, it is in their interest to go against anything which goes against their profits and they will fight for every sen, however small it may be,” Arutchelvan said in a statement today.

Earlier today, Riot said he was disappointed that employers were still opposing the scheme despite the lowering of the monthly contribution rate.

“If the EIS does comes into effect, retrenched private sector workers can then receive temporary financial assistance for up to six months, and during this period, Socso actively helps them connect with potential employers to ensure they find another job as soon as possible.

“If we leave retrenched workers without any form of assistance, it will be extremely detrimental for not just the affected families, but also to society and to the economy,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

On Oct 11, Riot had said the bill was expected to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 24.

Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the scheme in March, which he said would benefit around 6.5 million local employees in the private sector.

Arutchelvan said not implementing the EIS in the coming Parliament sitting would only paint an “ugly picture” that the ruling party was putting employers’ profits above the well-being of the working people.

He said attempts to delay and frustrate the implementation of the EIS should not be taken lightly or condoned.

“By bringing down the contribution of 0.5% to 0.2%, the government has met with the key demand of the bosses,” he said.

“Safety net legislation is important to safeguard the interest of the workers who are the majority of the workforce. In most countries, such retrenchment funds are the norm,” he added.