Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pulling up bosses who abuse foreign workers

Pulling up bosses who abuse foreign workers
By : Suganthi Suparmaniam


KUALA LUMPUR: The Labour Department will go all out this year to prosecute employers who mistreat their foreign workers as they have tainted Malaysia's good name.

Its legal and enforcement chief, Khamis A. R. Majid, said each of its 300 officers were expected to prosecute at least two cases this year.

To date, the department has 45 cases pending. They include unpaid wages, unfair deductions of salaries and abusive employers.

He acknowledged that outsourcing companies, which bring in workers in large numbers before contracting them out to work with different employers, have caused many problems.

"We will do our best to inspect the outsourcing companies," he said, adding that cancelling the permits of such unscrupulous companies was not under his jurisdiction.
"We are serious. We are going all out to investigate those who employ foreign workers," he said at a conference on "Developing a Comprehensive Policy Framework for Migrant Labour" here yesterday.

The conference, jointly organised by the Bar Council and the International Labour Organisation, was attended by about 300 participants.

Khamis said his department had also proposed that employers pay for the insurance for their domestic workers, failing which they would be fined a maximum of RM20,000 or jailed for two years.

He said foreign workers should seek the help of the labour department if they were mistreated by their employers.

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