Government allocates RM5.9b in salary subsidies to prevent retrenchment

R. Loheswar
Office workers are seen wearing masks along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur March 16 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The federal government will introduce a Salary Subsidy Programme to assist employers retain their workers.

The programme will benefit 3.3 million Malaysians with a budget of RM5.9 billion.

Through the programme, the government will offer to pay RM600 a month, per worker, for a period of three months.

“During these dire times, I do not want to see people losing their jobs and income. Through this programme, the government will prepare RM600 for each employee for three months.

“This program is specifically for those earning below RM4,000 and for employees whose earnings have dropped below 50 per cent since Jan 1, 2020,” prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today during a national broadcast to announce Putrajaya’s second economic stimulus package.

“Employers must make sure they do not retrench or order their employees to take unpaid leave for the three months once this program is initiated,” said Muhyiddin, adding that employers are also not allowed to cut their employees’ salaries during this time.

Apart from that, Muhyiddin also announced that 120,000 fulltime e-hailing drivers will get RM500 per person amounting to RM60 million in total. In the previous stimulus package, taxi drivers were given a one-time allowance of RM600.

For contract staff involved in cleaning, supplying food to schools and higher learning institutes as well as public training centres, the government has extended their contracts for another month while also pledging to pay all 80,000 contract staff salaries to the tune of RM110 million for the duration of the movement control order (MCO).

These measures will kick in on April 1,  2020.

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