Friday, February 13, 2015

MALAYSIA:::MTUC Wants Emergency Financial Assistance For 'Suddenly-Unemployed' Workers

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has called on the government to immediately to put in place an emergency relief scheme for the suddenly unemployed as they seek new employment.

Its secretary-general, N. Gopal Krishnan said the move would prevent the workers and their families from sliding down to poverty.

"Like the recent floods, unemployment can also come suddenly and unexpectedly, and affected workers and their families will need some emergency help to survive the situation and get back on their feet," he said in a statement here today.

This assistance, he said, would be temporary in nature, lasting possibly for a period of maybe, not more than six to 12 months, being the time required for the out-of-job worker to find a suitable new employment.

Unemploment assistance scheme was present in many countries, including Thailand, noted Gopal Krishnan.

He said the Thailand Unemployment Assistance Programme - in operation since 2004 - provided workers who lost their jobs as a result of termination or were laid-off, to receive 50 per cent of wages for not more than 180 days within one year.

There were, of course, conditions which stated applicants must be ready to take necessary efforts to seek employment, and even undergo whatever required skills training, he added.

"In Malaysia, reasonably such monthly assistance could be 50 per cent of wages or RM1,000, whichever is higher," he said.

Gopal Krishnan said MTUC joined the Malaysian Employers Federation in calling on employers not to dismiss their employees, following the expected slowdown in the economic growth this year.

He added that trade unions would be able to sit down with employers and work out concrete solutions that would benefit both worker and employer during the turbulent period.

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