Government Launches Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0, Loosens Application Conditions For EIS

During the reveal of the new PERMAI assistance package today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yet another iteration of the Wage Subsidy Programme, this time dubbed Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0. On top of that, he also said that the application conditions for the Employment Insurance System (EIS) will be relaxed so that more unemployed individuals can apply for the financial assistance offered.

With regard to the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that this updated initiative will see further improvements to its predecessor, Wage Subsidy Programme 2.0, which had ended on 31 December 2020. Under the latest instalment of this programme, all employers who are operating during the movement control order (MCO) – regardless of industries – are allowed to apply for the assistance offered. Once approved, they will receive a wage subsidy of RM600 for employees with a salary of less than RM4,000 for one month.

(Image: New Straits Times)

Aside from that, the number of eligible employees allowed for the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 will also be increased from 200 workers per company to 500 workers per company. Altogether, this initiative will see the allocation of RM1 billion in total, and is expected to benefit 250,000 employers with more than 2.6 million employees.

The government had launched the first Wage Subsidy Programme via the Prihatin economic stimulus package back in March 2020, aimed at helping companies that were affected by the implementation of the MCO. It lasted for three months, after which it was extended for another three months in early June through the PENJANA economic recovery plan. Subsequently, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced Wage Subsidy Programme 2.0 under the KITA PRIHATIN package in October 2020 to help companies that are still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aside from introducing an improved Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0, the prime minister also highlighted that the government has agreed to relax the application conditions for the Employment Insurance System (EIS/SIP Prihatin). To clarify, the EIS is a scheme that offers you unemployment benefits and job search assistance when you lose your job for various reasons – provided that you meet certain criteria.

According to Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s latest announcement, these criteria will now be relaxed to let the following individuals apply for financial help from EIS as well:

  • Individuals who did not meet the contributions qualifying conditions (CQC) by paying the required minimum number of SOCSO and EIS monthly contributions
  • Individuals who were unable to extend their service contract after renewing it at least three times

These individuals will be entitled to EIS financial aid with a payout of 30% of their salary or income for 3 months.

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