Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is the government anti-workers, and not for permanent work till retirement?

What is this? Do we now have a new class of workers called part-time workers? Will they be able to join trade unions?  Or will this be used by employers to reduce the direct employement of full time permanent workers? Should not the government set a minimum percentage of part-time workers that an employer could have, together with strict conditions as to the situations in which they be permitted to employ part-time workers. 

A good government should always be concerned about the workers and their families, and ensure that employment is always long-termed and permanent until retirement age, and the employer is and must be the owner of the business/factory/plantations, i.e. the means of production - and not some middle man they now want to call 'contractor of labour' - That is also why the current proposed amendments of the Employment Act, now before Parliament, must be strongly opposed - we do not want the 'middle man', who usually is a small business/company that have no capacity in guaranteeing worker rights and satisfying worker claims. All too easily they 'wind-up' and disappear...

Fixed-term short contracts should also be opposed, as they provide almost no job security and is detrimental to the welfare and future welfare of the worker and their families. There is no certainty that one will have a job in the future...or how much even one will be earning. How does one plan for one's family's future? The older you get the more difficult it would be to get jobs ... Salary increments the longer you work may become a thing of the past. Most affected will be the unskilled...and even partially skilled workers...the lower -incomed worker.


New rules on part-time work

PUTRAJAYA: Only those working between 30% and 70% of the eight-hour stretch daily will be considered part-timers under new rules from next month, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said if a full day’s work was considered to be eight hours, workers would have to put in between 2.5 hours and 5.6 hours each day to qualify as part-timers.

He said staff working below 30% of the eight-hour stretch would be categorised as casual workers while those putting in more than 70% were full-timers.

“However, we are allowing flexibility in the number of hours put in by part-timers for each day. Employers can decide if they want to calculate the number of hours on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.

“For example, employers can choose to allow part-timers to work eight hours in one day but then put in less hours another day,” he told reporters here.

Dr Subramaniam said the new rules, which were expected to benefit 6.8 million latent workers, would allow part-timers to find regular employment.

He said it would also enable employers to regularly hire staff that they did not require on a full-time basis as well as give better protection to part-timers by outlining the compensation they were entitled to if they were involved in workplace accidents.

Asked if the new rules would cause some employers to choose to hire more part-timers, Dr Subramaniam said this would not be in the best interest of companies.

“This is because not all jobs can be handled by workers coming in for only a limited number of hours.

“Employers will also save little by doing this because they will have to pay wages and EPF and Socso contributions for part-timers on a pro-rated basis.

“Part-timers will be entitled to leave, including medical leave, for which the days are also to be calculated on a pro-rated basis,” he said. - Star, 30/9/2010, New rules on part-time work

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