The Malaysian government has announced new support measures to help businesses and employees cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On 28th June, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the People’s Protection and Economic Recovery Package (PEMULIH). The PEMULIH aid package is worth around RM150 billion, and involves three main focus points: business support, individual and household support (the People’s Welfare Agenda), and vaccination support.

Both employers and employees should be familiar with the details of the PEMULIH package, since it offers professional and personal financial support. Employers in particular should understand the payroll consequences of PEMULIH in order to ensure their businesses and their employers benefit. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the package’s key payroll highlights.

Wage Subsidies

PEMULIH extends Malaysia’s existing Wage Subsidy Scheme (PSU) for all employees (even those earning over RM4,000). This fourth version of the PSU (PSU 4.0) is available for up to 500 employees per employer, for up to a maximum of 4 months depending on the sector in which the business operates. In more detail, all businesses may access two months of PSU 4.0 during Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan, while businesses that are not allowed to operate during Phase 3 may access 2 further months of support.

HRD Levy Exemption

Malaysia’s Human Resources Development Corporation imposes a mandatory monthly levy on employers for the purposes of training employees and upgrading the Malaysian workforce.

PEMULIH exempts certain employers from the HRD Levy:

  • Employers that were unable to operate under Malaysia’s Movement Control Order receive a 2 month HRD levy exemption, applicable to salary payments for July and August 2021. Employers should consult the HRD Corporation for further details on which business sectors are eligible for the exemption.
  • New employers that are covered by the expanded Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) Act 2001 receive a 6 month HRD levy exemption, applicable to salary payments from July through to December 2021.

PTPTN Repayment Moratorium

PEMULIH introduces a 3 month moratorium on repayments for Malaysians with National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans. The moratorium applies to the following groups of PTPTN borrowers:

  • Borrowers that have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Borrowers that have had their income reduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic

The deferment period for PTPTN loans runs from June to October 2021 and borrowers may apply for the moratorium between 10 June and 31 August 2021. Applications should be submitted through the PTPTN website.

Find more information on Malaysian payroll and social security in our dedicated Malaysia Global Insight Guide. For more on Covid-19 support for employers and employees, browse the activpayroll latest news page.

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