Stern action will be taken against employers who are found to have made false claims for the Wage Subsidy Programme, said the deputy minister of the Ministry of Human Resources, Awang Hashim. Penalties may include termination of the aid, suspension of payments, as well as getting employers to repay the amount that has already been disbursed to them.
Additionally, employers who abuse the Wage Subsidy Programme by neglecting to pay their workers’ wages despite receiving the aid will also face legal consequences.
“The Human Resource Ministry warned that action would be taken after the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) detected 30 false claims and misuse of the programme funds since it was introduced in April,” said Awang Hashim. He added that SOCSO also received 281 complaints from workers against their employers, claiming that the employers failed to disburse the workers’ salaries even after receiving the Wage Subsidy Programme aid.
Awang Hashim further shared that SOCSO has teamed up with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the employers who were identified as offenders. SOCSO will also work hand in hand with the legal division of the Ministry of Human Resources to iron out other legal measures that can be taken against these employers.
The Wage Subsidy Programme was first introduced as part of the PRIHATIN economic stimulus package to prevent employees from being retrenched and losing their income. It offered a sum of RM600 for three months to employees who met certain conditions, and was to be disbursed through their employers.
The first round of the Wage Subsidy Programme was subsequently extended for another three months via the PENJANA economic recovery plan. Upon its expiry on 30 September 2020, the programme was then succeeded by the Wage Subsidy Programme 2.0, announced via the new KITA PRIHATIN economic package in September 2020.
(Source: Malay Mail)