KUALA LUMPUR | The Social Security Organisation (Socso) has a mechanism to detect and take action against irresponsible parties found abusing the Wage Subsidy Programme, which has been extended for three months with a more targeted approach under the 2021 Budget.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said the mechanism allowed employees who did not receive their salaries to lodge a report with Socso against employers who had benefited from the programme.

To date, Azman said Socso had received 385 complaints of employers allegedly abusing the Wage Subsidy Programme that was introduced to cushion the economic impact brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Socso has also established a system where employers are required to go through artificial intelligence to obtain the contribution under the programme.

“This will enable Socso to monitor if the contribution is received by the employees.

“At the same time, Socso is also working closely with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police to weed out those abusing the programme.”

Azman said Socso has already taken the necessary action against parties found for abusing the Wage Subsidy Programme.

“Some of them have voluntarily come forward to return the assistance.

“Having said that, based on our database, cases involving such parties are not many,” he said, adding that Socso would continue to closely monitor the distribution of assistance.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan reiterated that the ministry would take action, including blacklisting such companies and employers.

“At the same time, the ministry will continue creating awareness among employees to check with Socso if their respective companies have received the assistance on their behalf,” he said.

Introduced through the economic stimulus packages, the Wage Subsidy Programme was rolled out to lessen the burden of employers and employees affected by the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The programme is open to companies registered with Socso.

As at Oct 31, the government has channelled RM 12.5 billion to fund the programme that has helped 2.7 million workers and more than 330,000 employers.

The programme was extended under the 2021 Budget with a targeted approach, specifically for the tourism sector.