Employers commend initiatives in the 2022 Budget

MALAYSIA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) praised the government for the provisions stated in the 2022 Budget.

MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman hailed the allocation of RM4.8 billion (USD1.2 billion) to ensure 600,000 job opportunities under the Jamin Kerja Keluarga Malaysia (JaminKerja) programme. Under this initiative, employers will be given a 20% incentive of the monthly salary for the first six months, and 30% for the next six months, if they hire Malaysians who have not been actively working. This would apply to jobs with a monthly salary of RM1,500 (USD360) and above.

"We also welcome the tax deductions of RM2,000 (USD479) to RM7,000 (USD1,700) to upskill employees, not to mention the RM1.1 billion (USD263 million) allocated for training and upskilling programmes for 220,000 trainees," he said.

He also praised the government’s move to provide RM2 billion (USD479 million) for the continuation of the Wage Subsidy Programme. This would benefit about 300,000 tourism sector employees and related sectors that were severely affected during the lockdowns.

"MEF welcomes the decision to extend the reduced Employees Provident Fund (EPF) minimum contribution rate of 9% until June 2022, and to allow small and medium enterprises to postpone income tax instalments for six months until June 30, 2022, as this would greatly help ease cash flow issues.

"The RM100 million (USD24 million) matching grants for smart automation for 200 companies in the manufacturing and services sectors would assist them to transform and streamline work processes and move up the value chain," he added.

In terms of inclusion in the workplace, Syed Hussai applauded the government's decision making mandatory the appointment of at least one woman to public-listed companies’ board of directors.

MEF cited that the budget would ease the rising unemployment rate which increased to 711,000 individuals in 2020 from 508,200 in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Master Builders Association Malaysia is pleased with the announcement on upskilling local talents through the continuation of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme.

"As the Malaysian construction industry is still over-dependent on unskilled foreign labour, we really hope that this initiative will provide the industry with more local talents to overcome the shortage of foreign workers issue," the MBAM said.

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