A NEW feature is likely to be included in the draft bill on the mandatory provident fund scheme following a recommendation by the Labour Advisory Board. The board's employer representatives yesterday promised to pay a five per cent contribution to the scheme for the roughly 160,000 workers earning less than $4,000 a month. Employers and staff would each contribute five per cent of monthly salaries to the fund. The original proposal was for those earning less than $4,000 to opt out from the scheme if they found it difficult to pay. But this provoked criticism, because the scheme was intended to support low-paid workers. All six employers' representatives agreed that the five per cent should be paid, because it would not exceed $200 a month. Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Jacqueline Willis, said the Government was encouraged by the 'enlightened attitude' of the employers. 'I hope it can be reflected in the legislation,' she said. She was not sure whether there was time to include the proposal in the draft bill which the Government promised to put forward early next month. But, if not, the bill could be amended at the committee stage. Secretary for Education and Manpower, Michael Leung Man-kin, has said the feature would be included in the legislation only with employers' consent. But staff representatives want the Government to share the burden by paying the workers' five per cent share. Union representative Leung Fu-wah said: 'Both employers and the Government refused to accept our proposal on the grounds that a burden would be created for taxpayers.' Unionist Poon Siu-ping said the promise would be a 'sham', because low-income workers were not given genuine support. 'When they fail to contribute their own five per cent, they only have their fund accumulating from the five per cent from employers, not the total 10 per cent. 'It will not be an adequate provident fund for them by the time they retire,' Mr Poon said. Another unionist, Chu Ming, said most low earners were imported workers who might not join the scheme.