By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
The Manpower Ministry has approved the move to widen the eligibility of Social Security Organisation (Socso) benefactors under the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4) and Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (Act 800).
Socso CEO Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said spouses who are hired by their partners are now eligible to register and contribute to the employment fund starting July 1, 2018.
“Prior to this, a wife or a husband who work for their respective spouses were not eligible to register or contribute to Socso as an ‘employee’, thus preventing them from being covered by the social security protection,” he said in a statement recently.
With the extension of the eligibility, the spouses will receive benefits for temporary and permanent disablement, invalidity pension and funeral, among others under Act 4.
Meanwhile, Socso benefactors under Act 800 implemented through the Employment Insurance System (EIS) will receive benefits such as a job search allowance, early re-employment allowance and reduced income allowance.
Mohammed Azman said employers who failed to register their spouses as a benefactor will be liable to imprisonment of up to two years or a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or both.
“It is compulsory for employers to register the hired spouses to allow them to contribute based on the rate of contribution stipulated by both Acts,” he said.
In an earlier report, Manpower Minister M Kulasegaran said the move to extend the coverage of the social security protection will benefit 34,000 people.
He said the contributions will be made similar to the existing rates, which is 1.25% of the employer and 0.5% of the employee, while the contributions for the EIS remained at 0.2% from both the employer and employee.
He added that the ministry is also planning to allow an estimated 1.4 million housewives, single mothers and widows to benefit from Socso coverage.