KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Social Security Organisation (Socso) has successfully disbursed more than RM18 billion in wage subsidies, job search allowances and hiring incentives through seven stimulus packages as of today.
Socso chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said the financial aid is equivalent to at least 1.5 per cent of the Malaysian gross domestic product (GDP) and was channelled to stabilise the labour market following the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Socso has built a three-pronged strategy, which starts with retention through the Wage Subsidy Programme, relief through enhanced and extended job search allowances and finally recovery through the Hiring Incentive Programme,” he said in his keynote address at the Socso’s Regional Return To Work (RTW) Symposium 2021, held virtually today.
He said among the approaches and initiatives taken by Socso to ensure that emotional and psychological support can be delivered amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic include the setting up of its guidance and counselling team known as the Psychological Support and Social Wellbeing Unit.
The unit specifically addresses the issues and challenges of mental health that have risen drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has made more people aware of the need to address psychological, emotional, and mental wellbeing. This creates more opportunities for the guidance and counselling team to reach out to Socso’s insured persons for counselling and emotional support,” Mohammed Azman said.
He said Socso also implemented a webinar series aimed at creating awareness of emotional and psychological issues and support in the workplace.
“The webinar series are conducted according to geographical zone to ensure that we can spread awareness over all the states in Malaysia.
“Participation from employers and insured persons will bridge the gaps in understanding the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace,” he said.
Mohammed Azman said a psychosocial wellbeing hotline is created to facilitate smooth delivery of service regardless of time and place, where anyone especially insured persons can unload their emotional burden, share problems in their daily lives, or even query about issues regarding mental health.
The psychosocial wellbeing team will offer psychological support and assistance via telehealth, he said.