Malaysia's human resources minister M. Kulasegaran said on Tuesday (3 July) that employers should include a safe travel clause in workers’ safety policy at the workplace, as reported in Borneo Post Online.

At the launch of SOCSO National-level Safe Commuting to Workplace Campaign, he said: “In 2017, the estimated total expenditure of the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) for deaths, disabilities and injuries due to road accidents stood at around RM600-RM800 million."

According to SOCSO, there were a total of 33,319 road accident cases and 667 fatalities on average last year. More than half (52%) of these accidents occurred while travelling to work, compared to returning from work or on duty.

SOCSO has a travel safety support programme which aims to reduce the number of road accidents among their workers. More than 100 employers have joined the programme this year.

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Additionally, Borneo Post Online has reported that SOCSO has provided an exemption period from fines and prosecution for employers that did not register their employees with them.

The suspension of charges which started on 1 July and ends on 31 July, will be followed by Ops Kesan, an unearthing operation starting Aug 1, targeting businesses, taxi drivers and those offering the e-hailing service.

This operation is to ensure every employer with at least one worker has done the right thing by the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4) and Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (Act 800) which came into force on Jan 1, 2018.

Employers who do not register with SOCSO will have to pay a penalty between RM500 and RM5,000. Those who are convicted will face a fine not exceeding RM10,000, imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both.

SOCSO believes many employers have yet to register their staff as from 2009 to May 31, 2018, SOCSO has issued RM21,656,900 worth of fines and has taken 12,593 cases to court.