Frustration with Socso on wage subsidy issue reaching boiling point

EMPLOYERS are flying off the handle waiting for their promised Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) and Wage Subsidy Programme 2.0 (PSU 2.0) incentive to come in.

After much paperwork and months of waiting, many are screaming, “Show me the money!”

Checks on Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Facebook page revealed foul comments from irate entrepreneurs demanding an explanation for the delay in the Government incentive.

The Wage Subsidy financial assistance programme is paid to employers for all local employees earning RM4,000 or less.

Under the PRIHATIN economic stimulus package announced on Mar 27, PSU subsidised wages for three months.

Through the PENJANA national economic recovery plan announced on June 5, PSU was extended for an additional three months.

On Sept 23, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the PSU will be extended yet again for another three months for existing employers currently receiving it; while businesses that have yet to apply for PSU may receive six months of aid in total. This programme is known as PSU 2.0.

Employers were ecstatic, especially when the first batch of wages started rolling in. But the joy and jubilation were shortlived.

What appeared to be a silver lining to the dark COVID-19 cloud very quickly turned into exasperation and resentment towards Socso.

“I would like to highlight the inefficiencies of Socso in handling the wage subsidies and hiring incentives. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, this organisation has not been as efficient as other Government agencies,” Wan Two3 Sdn Bhd director Jeanisha Wan told FocusM.

Wan, who runs a public relations outfit, has been waiting for her PSU 2.0 incentive since October; every attempt to contact someone with answers seems to be futile.

“Perhaps they don’t realise how important this subsidy is,” lamented Wan.

She questioned whether Socso understands that this subsidy is a lifeline to small and medium enterprise (SME) owners, and that there is no point in channelling funds when it is too late or when the company has been closed down.

Investigation into Socso’s Facebook page, by FocusM revealed countless remarks from angry employers just like Wan.

A message from Facebook user Luke Tan reads: For god sake pls release those unpaid PSU2.0 Nov and Dec payments as soon as possible.

Another user, Lia, pleaded with Socso to settle the PSU 1.0 incentive as soon as possible.

Voo Tshun Seung wrote about his/her own personal dilemma as an employer waiting for help for his employees.

Kairi Akaito who had just about enough, questioned why his/her application from Oct 5 is still in the “in process” stage.

Good news is that most queries are replied. Bad news is that they are all replied with the same standard message which reads:

Salam sejahtera tuan/puan,

Untuk makluman, pegawai kami sedang berusaha untuk memproses semua permohonan yang diterima di mana jumlah permohonan yang diterima agak tinggi. Segala kesulitan amat dikesali. Harap maklum.

Untuk sebarang aduan atau pertanyaan berkaitan Program Pengekalan Pekerjaan (ERP)/Program Subsidi Upah (PSU), Tuan/Puan diminta untuk menekan pautan di bawah bagi mengisi maklumat aduan untuk tindakan selanjutnya oleh pegawai kami.

(Greetings Sir/Madam,

For your information, our officers are working to process all applications received whereby the number of applications received is quite high. All the inconvenience is deeply regretted.

For any complaints or inquiries related to the Employment Retention Programme (ERP)/Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU), please click the link below to fill up the complaint information for further action by our officers.)

FocusM is awaiting an explanation from Socso. Do stay tuned!

By : Audrey Vijaindren – FOCUS MALAYSIA

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