A total of 99,696 workers were laid off between January and Nov 27 this year due to the spread of Covid-19, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim.
He said these include highly skilled workers comprising managers (13,109), professionals (26,079), technicians and associate professionals (19,095).
“Those who earned RM4,000 and above (per month) are not listed in the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) system that we provide to help those who have lost their jobs,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to M Kula Segaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) who asked why the human resources ministry did not include workers in the management category as subsidy recipients when statistics show that highly skilled workers make up 59% of the country’s unemployment rate.
Awang said although the government had implemented various initiatives and economic stimulus packages as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, layoffs were inevitable in certain sectors due to factors beyond employers’ control.
He said these factors include the closure of businesses, downsizing, Voluntary Separation Schemes, Mutual Agreement Separation Schemes, critical financial problems, partial closures, takeovers of companies and relocation.
“Among the sectors involved are manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage, wholesalers and retailers as well as construction and transportation,” he added.
Awang said an estimated 75% of all workers who had lost their jobs were from the B40 group earning RM4,000 and below, adding that the PSU had been introduced to help such individuals.
However, those in the management category who have had their services terminated are still covered under the EIS (Employment Insurance System) Act (Act 800) subject to a maximum pay of RM4,000, he added.
“This means that workers, including those at the managerial level who earned more than RM4,000, will get benefits such as the job search allowance.”