Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the government will be extending and enhancing the ongoing Salary Subsidy Programme for another three months. Additionally, it will introduce new subsidy programmes and financial support for childcare and vulnerable groups as well.
The existing Salary Subsidy Programme offers a RM600 salary subsidy for three months to all employees who are earning less than RM4,000 per month, and are working for employers who have suffered an income loss of more than 50% since 1 January 2020.
Now, the subsidy programme will be extended to end of September 2020, and employers who are enrolled in the programme are allowed to implement reduced work week arrangements and pay cuts of up to 30% pay cut. Employers in the tourism sector and other businesses which were prohibited from operating during CMCO are also allowed to receive wage subsidy for employees on unpaid leave, provided that the employees receive the subsidy directly.
RM5.3 billion has been allocated for this programme, and it is expected to benefit 2.7 million workers.
Aside from that, the government is also subsidising childcare expenses to support working parents during the conditional movement order (CMCO). This support will begin in June 2020, and will provide working parents with the following:
- E-vouchers of RM800 per household for mobile childcare services (used from now until end of August 2020)
- Increase in income tax relief for parents on childcare services expenses, from RM2,000 to RM3,000 for YA2020 and YA2021.
Childcare centres will also get a one-off grant of up to RM5,000 if they are registered with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (up to 31 December 2020). The grant is intended to help them comply with the new healthcare SOPs. The prime minister also mentioned that the government will provide incentives to train new practitioners for child nursing and early education course, but details are still scarce at the moment.
Lastly, a one-off financial assistance of RM300 will be provided to vulnerable groups such as registered OKUs, single mothers, and volunteers from home help services. As many as 342,000 individuals will benefit from this. The payment is expected to be disbursed before Hari Raya Aidiladha in July 2020. The government will also be providing grants to related non-government organisations (NGOs).
Additionally, the prime minister has also announced the PENJANA GLC Community initiative to further assist the vulnerable groups. The initiative encourages GLCs to “adopt” a community and carry social economic development projects with the community.