MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Allow Socso to give cash aid to flood-hit workers, says unionist


The Socso Act provides workers coverage under the Employment Injury Insurance Scheme and the Invalidity Pension Scheme.

PETALING JAYA: A unionist has urged the government to allow the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to give cash assistance to workers affected by the floods.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) council member A Sivanathan pointed to provisions in the Socso Act enabling the government to make new regulations.

The preamble to the Act says the minister in charge has the power to make regulations in any contingency, and Section 105(2)(vii) allows the minister to decide on the criteria and eligibility of workers for cash benefits.

“The recent devastating floods can be considered a contingency and the government can form regulations under the Socso Act based on existing provisions so that workers don’t have to wait for cash handouts,” he told FMT.

A Sivananthan.

The Socso Act says employees are provided coverage under the Employment Injury Insurance Scheme and the Invalidity Pension Scheme.

Sivananthan specifically referred to provisions in the injury insurance scheme, under which workers are compensated if an accident or disease occurs at work or while travelling to work or because of the work environment.

He said many employees had been working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the damage triggered by the floods had induced mental stress from the loss of belongings and had aggravated prevailing health issues.

“This can be identified as a workplace injury and the minister is well within his right to regulate the provision under the Employment Injury Insurance Scheme, entitling workers across all sectors affected by the floods to have access to their Socso funds,” he said.

Sivanathan also said the next of kin of those who died in the floods should be eligible for dependents’ benefits.

He said ministers had been scrambling to make laws on disaster management and financial rollouts since 2014.

“But this is taking time because Parliament can never come to a consensus. People need cash assistance now and the best way to help is by using already existing provisions in the Socso Act.

“The government needs to wake up and stop delaying what is owed to employees,” he said. - FMT

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