Friday, May 11, 2018

Pekerjaan(Jobs) - We need stable non-precarious employment not simply Jobs?

Well, there have been promises by the Pakatan Harapan and also the UMNO-BN about the creation of more JOBs(peluang pekerjaan) - but what is needed is stable non-precarious employment - not simply JOBS..

So, there are 1,000 jobs - short-term contract employment of maybe 1 year, where after one year, worker loses the job, and employer takes in another 1,000 workers for the same jobs, and it goes, government claims they created 5,000 jobs(peluang pekerjaan?)

Malaysian workers want stable employment - REGULAR employment...which last until retirement age OR ends by reason of retrenchment(i.e. when the employer needs no more employees or lesser employees0 OR ends by reason of a serious Employment Misconduct or ends by reason of a serious breach of employment contract. Regular employment is not permanent employment, and employers still have the ability to reduce or 'get rid' of workers BUT for very specific and justified reasons. In REGULAR employment, there is also PROBATION - time for the employer to access the suitability of the worker, after which his/her employment is confirmed, and he/she becomes a REGULAR EMPLOYEE. A regular employee also will usually be entitled to wage and rights increments annually, and, if retrenched, he is also legally entitled to retrenchment and lay-off benefits. Now, a short term contract employee, when contract ends does not get any such benefits. Further, one is only entitled to retrenchment benefits if one has worked for at least 12 months.

Short-Term Contract employment should only be used in limited circumstances. For example, in the construction industry, workers may be employed until the project is completed, or until the work they have been employed for is ended. 

UMNO-BN did not bother about employment stability, and the well-being of workers and their family - will Pakatan Harapan government care about Malaysian workers? Or will the Pakatan Harapan government also not be bothered - bowing to the 'demands and wishes' of the employer lobby?

DIRECT EMPLOYMENT - This means that a worker is directly employed by the EMPLOYER where the worker works. The 'CONTRACTOR FOR LABOUR' system must be abolished - In this system, as an example, a factory simply enters into an agreement with these Contractors for Labour(COL)/Labour Suppliers to supply a certain number of workers to the factory. The factory will pay the Contractor for Labour, who then pays its 'own' workers minus the COL's share - For work done, workers do not enjoy the the full fruits of their labour - but have to 'share' their fruits with a thrid party. UMNO-BN introduced this system on or about 2006 - The Pakatan Harapan government must immediately abolish the 'Contractor For Labour' system - requiring all workers in a workplace to be DIRECT employees of the workplace.


* A worker today has got many expenses - and as time passes on these expenses do increase with marriage and the emergence of the family. Today, many workers also take LOANS to buy cars/motor bikes, houses(even rumah mampu milik), household items, student education loans, etc - Thus, beside ordinary expenses, most workers have obligations to make monthly loan re-payments. They need REGULAR stable employment - not simply JOBs, and Regular employment provides financial and economic stability to the worker and their families/dependents.

* When a worker is on a 'short-term contract' - most workers are afraid to even ask for better rights to their employer, let alone claim(or complain) about rights being violated by the employer. The reason for this is simply because the worker HOPES that his/contract will be extended, or that he/she will be offered another contract by the said employer. This 'FEAR" facilitates the rise of injustice and violation of rights at the workplace. It will also deny the workers right using their right to form and/or join trade unions.

* After a one-year (or less) short term contract ends, it is not easy for the worker to find a similar job in same industry/field, even more difficult to find a job in the same town/district at times...let alone a job that pays the same or more than what he had held before.

* Many workers are buying homes(affordable homes) near their current workplace, and their spouses also find jobs in the same locality, their children school and socialize in that area. So, without regular employment - many may not be able to find employment in the same area - which may mean the family having to move to another town or even State, requiring further expenses for rental and/or travel(mind you, they still have to pay housing loans for homes that now, they cannot stay in because they were forced to move because of lack of jobs in the particular area. So, cost of accommodation of the family increases. Further, there will be a separation from family - where one working spouse may have to relocate some other town, and travel back every week-ends to be with the family - certainly not in the best interest of the child or the family...

* Women are most discriminated by 'short-term contracts' - they will not be employed even if they are in their first month of pregnancy (or sometimes just married) - because the employer simply do not want to give the worker their maternity rights.

* Most employers prefer young workers - and, as such, older workers will find it harder to find employment. No use 'increasing' retirement age - if 'short-term employment contracts' or the contractor for labour system exists. Handouts from government is not the solution because most Malaysians would like to be self-sufficient - living on the income they earn. 


1 - Ensure the right to 'REGULAR EMPLOYMENT' for all - restrict the use of 'short-term employment contracts' to maybe 5-10% of the workforce, and possibly for work that is not part of the core business of the employer. One exception would be migrant workers, whose contract should be 3-5 years, depending on the period the government has approved the use of migrant workers.

2 - Abolish now the 'Contractor For Labour' system - ensure that all workers are directly employed at the places they work. Workers should enjoy the full fruits of their labour. Employment Agencies are alright - where their scope of work, is helping to find employers for workers OR for finding workers for employers for which they are paid for their services by a one of payment made by the EMPLOYER - which could be equivalent to 1 months pay(or a just sum)

3 -  For REGULAR employment, the law must stipulate the maximum period of probation, which justly should be not more than three(3) months. Now, some employers can keep employees on probation for an indefinite period - some time even more than a year or 2. Why? Because until an employer issues the letter confirming the employee as a confirmed employee, employees continue to be treated as 'probationers'.
4 - Basic minimum worker rights are now provided by the Employment Act - which really just protects rights of only workers earning less than RM2,000 and those involved in manual labour. Time has come to maybe extend the protection to all workers - or at least those earning RM5,000 or less. 

5 - Overtime - Malaysia allows overtime of 105 hours a month in law. That means that an employer can make a worker work not 8 hours a day(but in fact up to 12 hours) every working day. The law is that workers have to AGREE everytime that an employer request him/her to work overtime BUT reality is that most workers really have no CHOICE in the matter. Monthly overtime LIMIT must be reduced - and there must be strict conditions as to when an employer can request a worker to work overtime. It should never be a norm to ask workers to work overtime - but in only exceptional cases.

MORE REFORMS NEEDED IN OUR LABOUR LAWS - During the UMNO-BN government, there were assurances to workers and their unions(including MTUC) that some changes will be done BUT nothing happened...we saw this year that even the MTUC took a stand to support Pakatan Harapan openly...Will Pakatan Harapan deliver?


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