Section 22 Council To Make Recomendations
(1) Based on the actions taken under section 21, the Council shall, at such time as the Minister may determine, make a recommendation to the Government through the Minister on the following matters:(a) the minimum wages rates;(2) The Government may, after considering the recommendation-
(b) the coverage of the recommended minimum wages rates according to sectors, types of employment and regional areas;
(c) the non-application of the recommended minimum wages rates and coverage to any sectors, types of employment and regional areas or to any person or class of persons;
(d) the commencement of the minimum wages order and the different dates for the commencement of the minimum wages order to different sectors, types of employment and regional areas, or to different persons or class of persons; and
(e) other matters relating to the minimum wages, including the implementation of the recommended minimum wages rates and coverage.
(a) agree with the recommendation; or(3) Where the Government directs the Council to review the recommendation and make a fresh recommendation under paragraph (2)(b), section 21 and subsection (1) shall apply.
(b) direct the Council to review the recommendation within the period as the Government may determine and make a fresh recommendation.
(4) The Government may, after considering the fresh recommendation made pursuant to subsection (3)-
(a) agree with the fresh recommendation; or
(b) disagree with the fresh recommendation and determine the matters specified in paragraphs (1)(a) to (e).
After, this there must be an ORDER ...
Section 23 - Minimum Wages Order
(1) Where the Government agrees with the recommendation of the Council under paragraph 22(2)(a) or 22(4)(a) or determines the matters under paragraph 22(4)(b), the Minister shall, by notification in the Gazette, make a minimum wages order on the matters specified in paragraphs 22(1)(a) to (e) as agreed to or determined by the Government.
(2) The Minister may, upon the direction of the Government, by notification in the Gazette, amend or revoke the minimum wages order.
Section 24 - Effect of a Minimum Wages Order
(1) For the purpose of this section, "contract of service" includes the collective agreement made under section 14 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 [Act 177].
(2) Where the rates of the basic wages agreed in a contract of service is lower than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order, the rates shall be substituted with any rates not lower than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order.
(3) Where the rates of the basic wages agreed in a contract of service is higher than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order, the rates shall not be reduced to any rates lower than the rates of the basic wages agreed in the contract of service.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing an employer and an employee from agreeing to any rates of the basic wages which are higher than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order.
I went and visited the Ministry of Human Resources website - and discovered that there is NO new Minimum Wages Order.
The last document there was a Media Statement of Wages Consultative Council (Kenyataan Akhbar Urus Setia Majlis Perundingan Gaji Negara)
This got me thinking. What is a government advisory - make recommendation body doing by issuing such statements - which is confusing everybody including employers and workers.. They have no business making such a statement...[That media statement was dated 20/2/2013 - and I believe that they even got the date wrong for I believe that it should possibly be 20/3/2013 considering when the media reports came out.]
This is not the first time that they have confused matters, the last time they came out with Guidelines On The Implementation Of The Minimum Wages Order 2012 which again caused confusion. Remember, that when we talk about minimum wage - we are talking about basic wage, not including overtime, other allowances and remuneration benefits. We shall not go into this for the moment.
Now, if employers who were required to pay minimum wages in January 2013 did not do this, the committed an OFFENCE. All employers with more than 5 employees, unless they were given more time vide Minimum Wages (Amendment) Order 2012 dated 28/12/2013 which was very clear which employer was given the right to delay payment of minimum wages in January 2013. The names of the employers are there...
What is the penalty for not paying Minimum Wages...
Section 43 Offence
An employer who fails to pay the basic wages as specified in the minimum wages order to his employees commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not more than ten thousand ringgit for each employee.
Not a good penalty at all - it could even be RM1 per employee, supporting the perception that this government is pro-employer and anti-worker. It would have been better, if a minimum fine per employee was also stipulated - i.e. maybe RM1,000 per employee...
So, we know that there are employers that have committed the offence, and what we would all like to know is how many employers have been charged with this offence? The offence has already been committed - hopefully this government do not give them some sort of 'amnesty' and do not even prosecute and convict them for their offence...Hopefully not
After the first Minimum Wages Order 2012 dated 16/7/2013, employers had the opportunity to go appeal - and many did and in 28/12/2013, we saw that many were given a DELAY as to when they will start paying their workers Minimum Wage. Workers were cheated... and promise was broken at the very last minute when they already were expecting Minimum Wages in January 2013?
Did our Prime Minister apologize to the workers affected? I did not see any such apology from the government... In fact, all expressed concern seem to be about the 'predicament' of employers - not at all the continued suffering of workers being paid wages so low... in an environment where cost of living has certainly gone up, many of which was caused directly or indirectly by this government.
Finally fixing a minimum wage for workers in Malaysia was GOOD and JUST, and for that the government need to be applauded despite the fact that it took so many years after the government became aware of the fact in 2009 that millions of workers were receiving very low wages - below the poverty line income.
CAN THEY DELAY THE PAYMENT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS, WHEN LOCAL WORKERS OF THE SAME EMPLOYER IS ALREADY ENJOYING THE RIGHT TO MINIMUM WAGES?
My answer would be NO - as it goes against even our Federal Constitution. Until the Federal Constitution is amended, you cannot discriminate against a worker - just because he/she is not a Malaysian Citizen. Section 60L of Employment Act 1955 is also clear about this. No discrimination by employers on the grounds that the worker is a foreigner...