HR leaders in Malaysia would be aware about the announcement last week of the new Kita Prihatin package that is aimed to provide additional wage subsidies for employers who are worst hit since the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), grants for micro businesses, and additional assistance to low-income households.
In a new update, Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO), i.e. Malaysia's Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) has released an in-depth list of FAQs for employers and HR to further learn about these programmes. For your convenience, the most relevant Q&As have been summarised below.
Q1 What are the Wage Subsidy Programmes, namely PSU, i.e. Program Subsidi Upah and PSU 2.0?
PSU and PSU 2.0 are financial assistance paid to employers for each local employee paid RM4,000 and below per month. Application for PSU started on 1 April 2020 and end on 30 September 2020.
The PSU wage subsidy was initially for a period of three months, but on 5 June 2020, it was extended for an additional three months. On 23 September 2020, the PSU was extended for another three months, as an addition for existing employers receiving PSUs. While PSU assistance for all new applications is for six months starting October 2020, thus this program is known as PSU 2.0.
Q2 When will PSU 2.0 come into effect?
PSU 2.0 will take effect on 1 October 2020.
Q3 What is the eligibility for employers to apply for PSU 2.0 and the benefits which will be received?
The subsidy can be claimed by employers on the following employee limits, determined according to their workforce strength:
- For employers with 75 employees and less: Subsidy can be claimed for 75 pax
- For employers between 76-200 employees: Subsidy can be claimed for 200 pax
- For employers with 201 employees and more: Subsidy can be claimed for 200 pax
While previously the PSU subsidy was RM 600 per employee for a period of three months, under the new subsidy PSU 2.0, employers will get RM 600 per employee for a period of six months. This subsidy is open to those employers who have faced a 30% or more reduction in total sales or monthly earnings in 2020 compared to the same month in 2019 after the implementation of the RMCO.
Further details are provided in the table below:
Q4 Who is not eligible to apply for PSU 2.0?
The following sets of employers/employees are not eligible to apply for PSU 2.0:
- Employers and employees who have not registered or contributed with SOCSO before 1 September 2020;
- Employers or companies that register with SSM / ROS / ROB / PBT or other establishments, and come into operation on or after 1 September 2020;
- Employers who are not registered with the Inland Revenue Board;
- Employees whose monthly salary exceeds RM4,000;
- Employees who have been laid off;
- Employees who have been employed under the PenjanaKerjaya (Hiring Incentive) programme;
- Public sector employees, federal and state statutory bodies' employees, those remunerated by statutory bodies, local authorities (PBT), and those who are self-employed, including freelancers;
- Foreign workers and expatriates; and
- Employers who withdraw from PSU 2.0 after their application has been approved by SOCSO.
Q5 For PSU 2.0 applications, what documents are required?
The documents required to apply for PSU 2.0 subsidy are:
- List of employee names (according to enterprise size eligibility limit);
- Employer's bank account information (copy of front page of bank statement only);
- Business Registration Number (BRN) information registered by employer when opening a bank account. Please consult the bank and to ensure the BRN and registration no. are accurate to avoid any difficulties;
- Copy of registration of SSM / ROS / ROB / PBT or other organisations;
- PSU2.0 declaration form.
Q6 What is meant by Business Registration Number (BRN)?
Business Registration Number (BRN) is the number that employers get when registering their company's current account with the bank. Thus, employers should contact their respective banks to ensure that the BRN provided is correct and accurate. This information is required for the purpose of direct payment to the employer's account by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT).
Employers need to download the BRN form from the PRIHATIN portal, complete the form and and upload back to the website. Failure of the employer to provide the correct BRN will slow down the payment process of wage subsidy.
Q7 What is the value of PSU 2.0 Declaration?
PSU 2.0 Declaration is a confirmation document and a written promise that the employer confirms or declares the things contained in it are correct. This form must be completed by all employers regardless of enterprise size and sector.
Q8 What is the interpretation of salary RM4,000 and below intended for this PSU 2.0 application?
The interpretation of salary or income is according to the Employees Social Security Act 1969 [Act 4]. All payments in the form of money to employees is considered as salary, which includes overtime / commissions / paid holiday leave / annual leave / sick leave / childbirth leave / service charge etc. Thus, salary is subject to a ceiling of RM 4,000.
Q9 Is it necessary for existing employers who are receiving the PSU to submit a new application for PSU 2.0?
Existing employers who are receiving PSU must submit their PSU 2.0 application on the PRIHATIN Portal beginning on 1 October 2020.
Q10 After the PSU 2.0 application is approved, does the employer need to submit a new application for the next claim?
Employers do not need to submit a new PSU application for claims of the following months. However, the employer is required to update the system in case there is any change to the status of business activity or the number of eligible employees.
In the event of a change (reduction or addition) to the list of employee names, employers should submit changes latest by the 15th day of that month.
Applications that contain inaccurate information such as the number of local workers not tallying the employer's information on SOCSO (ASSIST Portal) or if the application contains a list of foreign workers, the application will be questioned for further action. Accordingly, employers must fill in the information of local employees accurately to avoid delays in processing the application.
SOCSO reserves the right to refuse any defense if the employer fails to provide correct and accurate information. Legal action can be taken against employers who submit false claims.;