PREPARATIONS have been made to only send Nepali workers to companies with social security guarantee in Malaysia come 2022.
Towards this end, an agreement has been reached between the country’s Foreign Employment Board and Malaysia’s Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) to include Nepali workers in the scope of social security there, according to the News Nepal portal.
“The Nepali embassy will only verify a company’s request for the hiring of Nepali citizens only after understanding whether there is a comprehensive social security system or not,” the Foreign Employment Board executive director Rajan Prasad Shrestha pointed out.
“Therefore, all Nepali workers in Malaysia will be gradually included in the scope of social security.”
Aiming to advance towards equal treatment of migrant workers and national workers, Malaysia’s 1.8 million foreign workforce are covered and entitled to the same work-related injury benefits as local workers with effect from Jan 1, 2019.
In February, the Kathmandu Post reported that the enrollment of tens of thousands of Nepali workers under a scheme by SOCSO became possible after the Nepal government decided to authorise its Foreign Employment Board to sign an agreement on the matter.
Negotiations over the memorandum of cooperation for enrolling Nepali workers under the scheme had been going on for several months with the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the progress.
Nepali officials are counting on the SOCSO scheme to protect workers in the Southeast Asian country which is considered one of the most unsafe destinations for Nepali workers.
As per the contribution-based welfare scheme, Malaysian employers are required to contribute an amount equivalent to 1.25% of the worker’s monthly salary to SOCSO every month. The scheme covers employees in the event of workplace injuries, occupational diseases and accidents during work-related travels.
Once enrolled under the scheme, a family member – spouse, parents or offspring under 21 years of age – of the deceased migrant worker will receive an amount equivalent to 90% of his or her monthly salary for the rest of their life.
Likewise, migrant workers will also be eligible for financial assistance in case of temporary disablement. For permanent disablement, the worker and family member concerned will be entitled to lifetime benefits.
“If a worker dies in Malaysia and has to be cremated there, the family will get financial support of RM2,000 for funeral services,” Shrestha was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post. “If the worker’s body needs to be repatriated home, the family will get RM6,500 for repatriation expenses.”
Enrolling Nepali workers under SOCSO is also crucial as a high number of deaths has been reported among Nepali workers in Malaysia, added the Kathmandu Post. – Sept 16, 2021