Initiatives To Help Malaysian Jobseekers & Employees

The long-awaited 2021 budget announcement was finally released at 4 p.m. on November 6, 2020.

According to our Minister of Finance, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, tabling the 2021 budget, here is how the budget will help the employment sector in Malaysia.

A total of RM322.5 billion has been allocated for 2021, which is RM 7.8 billion more than the 2020 budget allocation, which was RM 314.7 billion.

About RM 236.5 billion has been allocated for operational expenditure and RM 69 billion for development.

With this year’s pandemic, RM17 billion has also been allocated to the COVID-19 fund.

EPF reduction for employees

There will be a reduction in the EPF from 11% to 9% for employees from January 2021, which represents a total of RM 9.3 billion.

Eligible members can start withdrawing RM500 per month from their EPF 1 account for 12 months, up to RM6,000 for 12 months.

Regarding account 2, eligible members are allowed to opt out of it to purchase insurance for themselves and their family members.

This is to help EPF members who have lost their jobs and should ease the financial burden of 600,000 people.

RM 24 billion is also allocated to the SOCSO workers’ compensation scheme, which includes delivery men and civil service contract workers.

There will also be tax exemptions of RM 3,000 for contributors to private pension plans extended through 2025.

Incentives to hire locals, seniors, OKU, ex-prisoners and ex-drug addicts

Employers will receive a 20% incentive to encourage job opportunities for OKU Group, laid-off workers, single mothers and those who have been unemployed for a long time.

In sectors which depend heavily on foreign workers such as construction and plantations, a bonus of 60% of the monthly salary will be provided.

40% of this will go directly to employers and 20% will go to local workers who replace foreign workers.

The government will also allocate RM 2 billion to continue the Penjana Kerjaya program under SOCSO.

This allowance should help 250,000 people looking for work.

For those hired under Penjana Kerjaya, the maximum cost of the training program that can be claimed by employers will be reduced from RM4,000 to RM7,000.

This is so that their employees can follow a highly qualified program or a professional certificate program.

In addition, if an employer hires an elderly person, ex-convict or ex-drug addict, they will also benefit from additional tax cuts.

The tax deduction for the employment of seniors will be extended until 2025.

That being said, 20 million RM is allocated to ex-prisoners so that they can undergo vocational training.

Booster Job creations

A National Employment Council will be created as a coordinating body to create more jobs and increase the skills and training of workers.

MyStep, a short-term employment program will receive a stipend of RM700 million, providing 50,000 contract jobs.

Those who wish to apply can start doing so from January 2021.

35,000 jobs will be offered in the civil service sector, with priority given to nurses and medical assistants, while 15,000 will be offered in state-linked enterprises (GLC) with priority given to technical and financial fields .

In addition, an allocation of RM 3.7 billion will go to Skim Jaminan Penjanaan Pekerjaan (JanaKerja) to create jobs and upgrade skills.

Vacant guided tour for locals and Orang Asli

There will be employment opportunities in all national parks to boost the ecotourism segment.

These opportunities will be offered to 500 people from the local community and Orang Asli.

Support artists

If you are in the arts industry, there will be an allocation of RM 15 million to the Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA) for the implementation of various arts and culture programs.

This will benefit more than 5,000 Malaysian artists as well as those working behind the scenes.

Grants, subsidies and incentives

The government will also open a furniture sector to create jobs in Pagoh.

There will be a grant of RM 1000 for traders, taxi drivers, email drivers and tour guides in Sabah.

The fishermen’s allowance will also be increased from RM250 to RM300 per month with an allowance of RM151 million which is expected to benefit 50,000 fishermen.

There will also be an allocation of RM 1.7 billion for subsidies and incentives for farmers and fishermen.

One-off payments

To honor the sacrifices of frontline workers in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the government will make a one-time payment of RM500 to 100,000 of them.

In addition, a one-time payment of RM 500 will also be made to around 70,000 teachers and religious leaders (guru takmir).

For employees of Tourism and Retail

For the tourism and retail sectors, there will be a target wage subsidy program that will last for 3 months.

An allocation of RM 1.5 billion is expected to benefit 70,000 employers and 900,000 workers in these industries.

600 RM per month will be paid to those earning RM 4000 and less.

There will also be an increase in the limit from 200 to 500 workers, especially for large companies in the tourism sector.

Reconditioning and improvement

A budget of RM 1 billion will be allocated to requalification and upgrading programs, which are expected to benefit 200,000 trainees.

The score is as such:

  • RM 150 million for KPT-PACE – RM 3,000 vouchers for 50,000 graduates with vocational certificates.
  • RM100 million for HRDF – training programs with private sector employers.
  • RM100 million for IRDA and SEDIA – benefits of Sabahan and Johoreans workforce lost due to border closures.
  • 30 million RM for PERHEBAT – benefits 12,000 veteran soldiers.
  • You can read more about our coverage on M’sian Budget 2020 last year here.

Featured Image Credit: Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Finance

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Jothi Venkat

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