The Employment Insurance System (EIS) bill 2017 has just been passed by the Dewan Rakyat with several amendments after being debated by 14 members of parliament, Bernama reported.

Introduced earlier this year, the EIS Bill seeks to create a fund to help retrenched workers with a contribution by both employers and employees.

When winding up the debate on 25 October, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot explained that through the insurance system, workers who lost their jobs would be given job training to return to work.

"This includes those who are between the ages of 40 and 50, and can be provided with appropriate training," he said.

When tabling the bill for a second reading, Riot said the insurance system would see a 0.4% contribution from the insured pay, namely 0.2% each from employers and employees.

Implementation of the insurance system, would benefit employers by increasing the productivity of the company through employees who had undergone skills and re-training programmes, as well as reduce the pressure on them if there was a need to reduce costs, downsize operations or in case of bankruptcy.

Riot said: "In 2015, more than 44,000 people lost their jobs, among others, due to automation measures in the financial sector, corporate restructuring and falling crude oil prices in world markets. In 2016, more than 38,000 people lost their jobs, with the majority being in retail, manufacturing and quarrying."

He explained that as a trading nation increasingly tied with the global economic chain, for Malaysia, the risk of exposure with the impact of the economic downturn was inevitable, adding that it was important to support workers who lost their jobs especially during such times.

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