pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
A TOTAL of 1,086 retrenched Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd staff applied for the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Employment Insurance System (EIS), as at Nov 15, 2020.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said 794 of the staff who applied for EIS received Socso’s retrenchment benefits totalling RM928,000, while the agency is still processing the remaining applications.
“Employees who were immediately let go from their jobs will be assisted through EIS to get the job search allowance for six months, depending on the qualifications.
“The allowance will be paid between 30% and 80% of their last salary with a maximum of RM4,000,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He was responding to a query by Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) on the measures taken by the government to assist workers who have been retrenched during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saravanan said 96 of the former Malindo staff have successfully found new jobs through the national employment portal, MYFutureJobs.
In its latest bid to remain afloat as the travel industry has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline was reportedly planning to cut 2,200 of its workforce to 1,000.
In June, Malindo reportedly offered a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to all permanent and contract staff whose service contracts expire on Dec 31, at all levels, functions and locations.
Malindo also offered its employees a one-year voluntary long-term unpaid (LTU) leave, effective Aug 1, 2020, until July 31, 2021, according to a news report.
Under the LTU scheme, participating employees will not receive monthly salaries and allowances, and are required to inform the airline if they plan to pursue other jobs on the side.
Under Budget 2021, the government announced RM1.3 billion allocation for the Human Resources Ministry’s annual expenditure, while RM4.13 billion is allocated for social security programmes, upskilling training and employment incentives.
“As mentioned in the tabling of Budget 2021, the government is targeting to provide 500,000 job opportunities and RM3.7 billion has been allocated for that,” he said.
According to Socso’s data, 95,995 employees registered as Socso’s contributors were retrenched as at Nov 13, 2020, while RM290 million was spent on funding for the retrenchment benefits.
Saravanan said RM110 million was approved to pay 40,766 former employees of the airline, hotel and tourism industries through EIS.
He added that the RM150 million allocation under the recent budget tabling will be a supplementary fund to finance the job searching allowance, which will benefit some 130,000 workers.