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These are the Budget2020 initiatives that support M’sian women

These are the Budget2020 initiatives that support M’sian women

Tasneem Nazari

Women have vast and positive impacts on the economy. The Finance Ministry has obviously realised this as Malaysian women are among the top winners of the Belanjawan2020 tabled on Friday (Oct 11).

Currently, women make up only 56% of the Malaysian workforce as over 2.5 million are unemployed due to domestic and family responsibilities.

With that in mind, here are all the Belanjawan2020 initiatives that support M’sian women:

1. Women@Work

Women between 30 and 50 who have been unemployed for a year or more will be exempted from tax for four more years until 2023 if they return to work.

They will also get RM500 a month for 2 years as an incentive to re-enter the workforce. Meanwhile, their employers will receive RM300 a month incentive to re-hire women.

Women@Work is a part of the Malaysians@Work initiative and aims to create 33,000 job opportunities in the coming year for unemployed women and mothers.

2. Business Loans Guarantee Scheme (Skim Jaminan Pinjaman Perniagaan, SJPP)

Several enhancements will be implemented to the scheme, including an allocation of RM500 million in guarantee facility, especially for women entrepreneurs.

3. SME Banks loans and interest subsidy

RM200 million will be allocated to SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) banks to provide loans to women entrepreneurs. Each SME can receive loans up to RM1 million and repayment of the loan will be subsidised by 2% annually.

4. Micro-digital entrepreneurs training

RM10 million will be provided to MDEC to train online business owners (the majority of whom are women) on how to sell their products in the e-Marketplace and on social media platforms.

5. i-Suri

In 2020, RM20 million will be allocated to SOCSO for the i-Suri programme to further extend its benefits.

The programme will also be expanded to allow husbands the option of contributing 2% from his 11% EPF employee contribution to his wife’s EPF account.

Picture credit: Gag Loop

5. Women in sports

In 2020, RM10 million will be allocated to further promote women in sports and nurture the next generation of Malaysian sportswomen.

Picture credit: Maskulin

6. Tax exemptions for children’s kindergarten fees.

In 2020, RM30 million will be allocated for the development of early childhood care facilities, especially in hospitals and schools.

Additionally, parents who enrol their children in registered nurseries and kindergartens will receive increased individual tax exemptions of RM2,000 for school fees paid. Previously the amount was RM1,000.

This creates more opportunities and incentives for parents to send their children to kindergarten, enabling mothers the chance to re-enter the work-force.

7. Maternity leave extended to 90 days

The government is looking into revising the Employment Act 1955 to remain relevant to the current needs of the labour market.

This includes increasing maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days starting 2021.

Picture credit: Pinterest

BONUS POINT: The government also mentioned that they will improve protection and procedures for handling sexual harassment complaints and introduce new rules to stop workplace discrimination on religion, ethnicity, and gender.


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