Wage Subsidy Programme: Over 350k employers assisted

It saw the distribution of billions to eligible recipients

Wage Subsidy Programme: Over 350k employers assisted

A total of 357,715 employers have received help from the Malaysian government's Wage Subsidy Programme to retain the employment of a total of 2,956,607 local employees, according to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

The programme so far has disbursed RM20.755 billion to assist the said number of employers who applied to the initiative, said the minister in a report from Bernama.

This includes the RM150.979 million that was provided to 6,853 employers as of April 15 under the Wage Subsidy Programme 5.0. This helped sustain the employment of 97,662 local employees.

The Targeted Wage Subsidy Programme (5.0) is a government initiative that extends financial assistance to employers for each local employee.

The programme, which closed on March 31, targeted employers in the tourism sector that suffered from income loss of at least 30% for October, November, or December 2021 compared to their revenue in any month that year, or in 2020, 2019, and before the pandemic.

Eligible employers were granted RM600 per month for up to 500 employees for three months, according to the Ministry of Finance.

"The purpose of the [programme] is to assist employers who are economically affected by COVID-19 as well as the closure of operations during the Movement Control Order in order to continue the company's operations and prevent employees from losing their jobs and sources of income for all enterprises," the ministry's announcement read.

Read more: Malaysia's HR ministry to issue WFH policy

Meanwhile, the government has also allocated a total of RM100 million under the country's Career Advancement Programme to help unemployed graduates find jobs.

As of April 8, Tengku Zafrul said in the 94th People's Financial Report that the programme has provided 11,750 graduates with jobs.

The project is expected to continue in 2022, with a target to extend 20,000 job opportunities to more individuals, said the minister.

The data on employment and wage subsidy came as the government reported a "gradually recovering" labour force since 2021, according to Tengku Zafrul, with stronger recovery expected this year.

"The expectation is based on a more targeted approach taken to manage the public health situation, especially in the second half of 2021, compared to the comprehensive sanctions implemented in the previous year," he added.

He also noted that the economy is expected to further be stimulated thanks to the resumption of economic activities due to longer business hours, as well as the reopening of international borders.

Malaysia has begun its transition phase into the endemic since April 1, as remaining active COVID cases stand at over 31,000 as of May 3.  

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