The government has agreed in principle to extend Social Security Organisation (Socso) benefits to those who are self-employed, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said.

However, a mechanism for implementation is still in the works, he said when winding up the debates on the Supply Bill 2013 for the ministry.

He said initial studies had been conducted and the proposal had been brought to the cabinet for approval in principle.

“The government agrees in principle and in spirit that the extension of Socso protection to those who are self-employed is good.

“But, we are still deciding on the best system, the best mechanism, bearing in mind there are different types of self-employment,” he told Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang).

Subramaniam said the implementation of Socso for the self-employed will take time but did not specify how much time it would take.

“We need to conduct actuarial implication studies. As soon as the various processes are complete, it will be implemented as soon as possible,” he added.

The proposal to provide coverage under Socso was initially brought up by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in July.

Najib had said the government was mulling extending Socso to taxi drivers, who are not covered by insurance if they are injured or maimed in the course of their work.