The FMM[Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers] said the government recently informed employers that the levy burden would be shifted back to them. - Star, 2/2/2016
“…The rationale behind getting employers to bear the levy was to discourage them from employing foreigners…” - Labour Director-General Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim [Star, 16/4/2009]
** Maybe even special permission of the Minister of Human Resources should be required for employing migrant workers - there must be proof that the employer really tried his level best to first get local workers.
*** Even when he employs a migrant worker, and there is a claim by the said migrant worker against the employer, the employer will bear the cost of the migrant worker continuing to remain in Malaysia until the labour claim is settled. [Now, when in Malaysia, when migrant worker complains of violation of rights and/or lodges a complaint, so simple for the employer to get rid of the 'problem' - simply terminate and cancel the permit - and the employer evades the consequences of his wrongdoing >> Notice, how there are almost no Labour Court cases or Industrial Court cases in Malaysia commenced by the migrant worker against the Employer. This is one of the reasons why migrant workers are preferred - and Malaysia needs to deal with this problem of access to justice for migrant workers.]
FMM wants foreign workers levy hike to be withdrawn
It said on Monday the doubling of the levy rate was “very hefty” since manufacturers were grappling with the challenging economic conditions and rising cost of doing business. It cited causes of rising costs were the new minimum wage level, higher energy costs, higher costs of raw materials inputs and lower sales revenue arising from the weakening of the Ringgit.
The FMM said the government should have called in industry stakeholders to discuss this decision and work together on a more acceptable schedule of increase as well as timing. It added this should have been implemented in phases when the economy improves.
“The Government’s sudden decision to double levy rate for the manufacturing sector with immediate effect is unacceptable. The government has not given due consideration to the significant impact on business sustainability and socio-economic consequences,” it said.
“Employers had asked that levy rate should at least be maintained at the current rate until economic conditions are better. The doubling of levy rate is therefore most disappointing. The government has not taken into consideration employers' plea and cooperation,” it said.
The FMM said the sustainability of the businesses and jobs were also at stake, even for local workers when businesses find great difficulty in sustaining their operations.
“The government should look at business sustainability in totality, considering all relevant factors which would have an impact; and not in isolation of issue by issue.
“All issues put together become an insurmountable economic fire which could overwhelm and consume businesses, employees and suppliers throughout out the supply chain,” it said.
FMM said that while businesses were aware of the need to reduce dependency on foreign workers, any changes should be announced earlier and implemented gradually. This referred to the quantum as well as timing of the increase so companies had enough time to adjust.
“Changes and especially hefty changes with significant impact on business costs, should not be made overnight,” it said.
55 industry groups in united stand against foreign worker levy hike
The 55 trade organisations included all notable trade and industry organisations in the country, including the biggest, the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Malaysian Employers Federation, the SME Association of Malaysia and more.