Malaysia does not have a national health insurance program and there are no statutory medical benefits. The public health care system charges fees at subsidized rates with co-payment amounts reflective of what patients can afford to pay. Though health care services are subsidized at public hospitals and clinics, there usually is a long waiting list to receive treatment, and private sector employees prefer to use private hospitals and clinics.
Most employers provide healthcare benefits for their employees and the benefit in Malaysia is predominately tailored to each employment sector. Multinational companies, financial sectors and larger companies are progressive in the level of benefits they offer to their employees to remain competitive in the market.
Mandatory and supplementary employee benefits in Malaysia include a social security scheme, employment insurance, and a retirement fund. Common supplementary employee benefits include medical, life, disability, and personal accident insurance.
There are three mandatory employee benefits in Malaysia which include the following:
- Social Security Organization (SOCSO) – also known as PERKESO, is a social insurance scheme that covers work-related injuries, disabilities, and death.
- Employment Insurance System (EIS) – a social security scheme that provides coverage for retrenched workers.
- Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – a federal statutory body established by the Malaysian government to manage the compulsory savings plan and retirement planning for private sector workers in Malaysia.
The following supplemental employee benefits are common for Malaysian employers to offer.
- Inpatient benefit – offered as part of the benefits package, which may include dependent cover. Employee coverage can extend up to the age of 70 years old, while child coverage is up to 23 years of age if still pursuing full-time education.
- Outpatient benefit – forms basic medical insurance benefits. General practitioner and specialist benefits are typically offered under this coverage.
- Life & permanent disability insurance – provides a lump-sum payment to the employee’s beneficiary in the event of death and permanent disability. Employers may opt to have a fixed sum assured or based on multiples of salary.
- Critical Illness insurance – provides a lump-sum payment if a member has been diagnosed with a covered critical illness.
- Personal accident insurance – provides a lump-sum payment to the employee’s beneficiary in the event of death and permanent disability due to accidental causes. Employers may opt to have a fixed sum assured or based on multiples of salary.
- Dental / Optical/Maternity benefits – Provides routine and major dental, optical, and routine maternity benefits. Insurers will be able to quote for these benefits if the employee headcount is more than 100.
Wider Benefits Provision (Perks)
There are several additional benefits in kind other than the salary package offered by employers in Malaysia, which typically include the following:
- Company cars – these benefits are often offered to the top management level.
- Training & development – This may include access to on-the-job training, workshop, or certification programs.
- Retirement – Employers may offer additional retirement benefits in the form of pension plans or retirement savings.
- Wellness – health screening program
- Flexible benefits – Employees can select several types of benefits from a menu, most of them being tax efficient. Almost a third of employers provide some form of flexible benefits as part of their program. Honan has a flex team comprised of consultants and an operations division that oversees flexible benefits programs from design to implementation and management. Flexible benefits programs are managed on Honan’s award-winning portal.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – EAPs are designed to provide employees with support for personal and work-related issues, such as mental health counseling, financial advice, and legal assistance.
- Childcare subsidies – Childcare subsidies are designed to assist working parents who have young children and may need help with the expenses associated with childcare.
- Mobile phones – It’s common for staff to have mobile phones allocated to them at the expense of the company; around 97% of companies will allocate a mobile phone to staff, particularly for those employees in client-facing roles.
- Flexible working arrangements – Post the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now common for organizations to have a Flexible Work Policy in place, which allows employees to have a hybrid work model that supports a blend of in-office and remote working. It offers employees the autonomy to choose to work however they feel they are most productive.
Honan Malaysia provided this information about employee benefits in Malaysia. If you need support with your benefits in the country, contact Asinta, and we will put you in touch with the experts at Honan.