Monday, August 23, 2010

Amendments we need to better protect worker rights in Malaysia(1)

Amendments are being proposed to Labour Laws in Malaysia, but most of them seem to be pro-employer pro-business and anti-worker. I have perused the law, and decided to highlight some of the the changes in law that we desperately need to better protect workers...and to deter 'bad' employers from blatantly and repeatedly exploiting worker. One at a time, that will be the way that I will do this...

The UMNO-led BN have become pro-employer pro-businesses -- and one wonders whether Pakatan Rakyat (and the other Opposition Parties) are pro-worker, or also pro-employers? 

No Penalty – Just Pay Now What You Should Have Paid But Did Not

At present when an employer violates a worker’s legal rights with regard to wages, overtime payments, rest days, paid public holidays, paid annual leave, paid sick leave or hospitalization leave, maternity leave, etc, at the end of the of the day, if the employer is found to be guilty, he is required to pay the worker only what he should have paid at the very first instance. There is no additional penalty imposed in law, for the breaking of the law by the employer, and hence there is no deterrence.

In fact, many bad employers will just continue to deprive workers their legally recognized worker rights, knowing that even if their workers do complaint to the authorities, at the end of the day all they are required to pay is just what they should have paid in the very first place. 

There really must be an additional penalty imposed, say maybe, a sum of not less than ten thousand and not more than fifty thousand for each violation, and this would certainly be deterrence to employers violating worker rights. Maybe, all or part of this additional penalty should be paid to the affected worker.

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