They will be exempt from prosecution during this period starting 1 May, following which they will face possible enforcement actions for any non-compliance.
From 1 May to 30 June 2023, eligible employers in Malaysia will be given a chance to register their employees with the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO, or PERKESO).
Throughout this period, which Bernama refers to as an 'amnesty period' employers will be exempted from compounding, prosecution, and interests imposed on late contributions (FCLB), even though they have passed the grace period.
In a statement, SOCSO CEO Dr. Azman Aziz (pictured above, centre) said this is the first time it has implemented a two-month amnesty period, up from the previous periods of one month. The purpose, it added, is to give employers the opportunity to register their employees for social protection, following the economic development post-COVID-19.
Employers who have yet to be registered and to contribute have thus been called on to do so right away, through the online ASSIST portal, by visiting a SOCSCO office, or by contacting the SOCSO Careline at 1-300-22-8000.
"If the employer still fails to do so during this period, PERKESO will not compromise with the employer's non-compliance and no more exemptions from enforcement action will be considered for the employer involved."
Following this two-month period, PERKESO will mobilise Ops Kesan 2023 in July, to ensure that all employers who employ at least one employee (regardless of the amount of salary) register their companies and employees per the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of the Employees' Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4), as well as Section 14 and 16 of the Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (Act 800).
Per PERKESO's records, up till 31 March 2023, close to 1.15mn employers have registered with PERKESO under Act 4, but the number of active contributors, i.e. at least one contribution within 12 months, is 573,390 employers. The number of active workers (at least one contribution within 12 months) is 9.31mn people.
At the same time, since 1 January 2019, only 1.2mn foreign workers (or 52% of the 2.3mn foreign workers who work legally in the country), actively contribute to SOCSO under the protection of Act 4.
The statement added: "Based on complaints and information received from employees and the public through various channels, SOCSO believes that there are still employers who employ workers who yet to register and contribute.
"Employers' failure to register their companies and employees is an offence subject to compounding and prosecution, where the amount of compounding imposed can reach RM5,000 depending on the offence committed."
Additionally, employers will also be charged an FCLB at a rate of 6% per annum on each day the contribution is delayed, due to failure to register and contribute. If the employer is charged in court and if found guilty, they can be sentenced to a fine of up to RM10,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both.
From 2019 to 2022, a total of 8,734 compound notices were issued with a collection value of RM2.67mn from employers who failed to register their companies and employees with SOCSO. In the same period, 9,276 cases were prosecuted under both Act 4 and Act 800 for various offences.
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Photo: SOCSO's Facebook