According to Human Resources Minister M Saravanan, a total of 155,893 people lost their jobs during the Covid-19 outbreak. He said the layoffs were done according to law, and none of the 5,959 employers was brought to court for violating the Employment Act 1955.
"The Ministry of Human Resources through the Department of Manpower has always acted proactively in assisting and tracking down local workers involved with layoffs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
141,191 workers laid off in Peninsular Malaysia
"In 2020 until July 2021, a total of 5,095 employers laid off a total of 141,191 workers in Peninsular Malaysia.
"Meanwhile, for the state of Sarawak, a total of 509 employers were involved in the layoff of 8,996 workers in the same period," he said in a parliamentary reply yesterday.
"In Sabah, 355 employers were involved in the retrenchment of 5,706 workers from 2020 to September 2021 involving the accommodation sector, food and beverage services, manufacturing sector, construction sector, and administration and support services sector", he explained.
Saravanan said the ministry had also been monitoring the situation closely to ensure that the employers did not neglect workers' rights and welfare.
Click here to learn more about retrenchment procedures.
"For such purpose, employers are required to complete and submit the Termination Form (PK) within thirty (30) days before the termination action is taken as per Section 63, Employment Act 1955," he said.
"This is to ensure that employees' rights are paid according to the law in terms of payment of termination benefits, termination notices and other financial benefits," Saravanan said.
"Employers who fail to comply with the provisions of existing law or violate the provisions under the act, upon conviction, can be fined not more than RM10,000 for each offence.
"Until now, no prosecution action has been taken against an employer as the employer who laid off the employees complied with the provisions under this section," he replied to a query from RSN Rayer.
Opposition lawmakers asked him to provide the number of employers who have taken action to lay off workers since the movement control order (MCO) came into force in 2020 until today.
15,537 businesses were forced to close down
In a separate parliamentary reply, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi said a total of 15,537 businesses were forced to close from 2020 to August 2021.
The numbers involve the wholesale trade sector, retail sales sector, and motor vehicles and motorcycles repair sector. Alexander was replying to Rozman Isli, who asked the minister to provide figures for businesses that closed down during the outbreak.
Alexander said a similar trend occurred before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019 when 13,527 businesses went bankrupt.
"In 2020, the number of business terminations involving the wholesale trade, retail sales, motor vehicle and motorcycle repair sectors is 10,487 businesses while a total of 5,050 businesses have closed down between January 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021," he said.
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