KUALA LUMPUR | The budget reflects the government’s farsightedness on the people’s welfare, said Social Security Organisation (Socso) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed.

“We welcome the budget and would like to thank the government for focusing on the rakyat.”

The 2020 Budget will provide for the Self-Employed Social Security Scheme (SESSS) to be expanded to allow for contributions by 18 self-employed groups from next year, such as fishermen, farmers, sole proprietors and entertainers.

The SESSS, under the Self-Employment Social Security Act 2017 (Act 789), which was mandatory only for self-employed taxi, e-hailing and bus drivers who work full-time or part-time, is now extended to other informal sectors such as farming, fishing, smallholding and the operation of businesses, as well as the arts and entertainment industries.

SESSS, which took effect from June 1, 2017, is aimed at protecting the self-employed and those in informal sectors against self-employment injuries, including occupational diseases and accidents during work-related activities.

Under Act 789, self-employment injuries refer to personal injury to a self-employed insured person caused by an accident or an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of his or her self-employment activity, including while travelling for the purpose of his or her self-employment activity.

“With a prepaid annual minimum of just RM157.20, entertainers, farmers, fishermen, construction workers and food delivery riders can receive benefits.

“Their benefits will depend on the amount they contribute, in the form of replacement of income, or a one-off payment. Their dependents will receive lifelong benefits. The scheme also includes rehab and funeral benefits.”