PERKESO will amend its Act so it can offer a grant worth 80% of an insured employee’s salary.
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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Unity Government is sensitive to the needs of women, especially those who have to stop working after maternity leave to take care of their children due to the rising costs of childcare.
To encourage women to return to work, the Social Security Organisation (PERKESO) will amend its Act so it can offer a grant worth 80% of an insured employee’s salary. It is estimated that more than 130,000 women who return to work after giving birth will benefit from this grant, which involves a total of RM290 million per year.
In tabling the 2023 Budget today, Anwar who is also the finance minister, urged employers to provide childcare centers in offices. The government will continue to simplify the guidelines for childcare centers in offices including allowing the provision of childcare centers at higher floors of high-rise offices.
Existing tax incentives will also be extended for childcare allowances as well as the cost of providing childcare centers in offices. If the response from employers is not encouraging, the government will examine the need to make provision of such facilities compulsory in order to support working mothers.
At the same time, the government will simplify the registration process and restart the recalibration programme for unregistered nurseries and childcare centers across the country. A total of RM15 million is provided as a simple loan to help entrepreneurs.
For civil servants, the government will provide a nursery fee subsidy of RM180 per month in addition to raising the qualifying household monthly income limit from RM5000 to RM7000.
In order to expand access to early childhood education, the government will continue the construction of 80 nurseries and Tabika KEMAS, including 13 new projects.