Friday, July 01, 2011

Malaysian workers will get payment for overtime only the following month - WHY

As it is, workers do not normally get paid after they had done the work for the day...or the week but only at the end of the month.

But now, our Malaysian government is trying to amend the Employment Act to allow employers to delay payment for overtime, work on a rest day, work on public holidays... for another month. So, payments due at the end of June for overtime, etc will get paid only at the end of July... Why? There really is no justification at all...

As it is, for work done in the month of June - employers need to pay wages for the said month only by the seventh day of the following month. So, what is the difficulty calculating the amount that is due to be paid for overtime work, work on rest days/public holidays at the same time. It has always been done this way - so why change delay the time that employers need pay their workers for work already done? Was there any complaints from employers about this? - I never saw anything in the media

Proposed new section 19

4. The principal Act is amended by substituting for section 19 the following section:

“Time of payment of wages

19. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every employer shall pay to each of his employees not later than the seventh day after the last day of any wage period the wages, less lawful deductions earned by such employee during such wage period.

(2) Wages for work done on a rest day, gazetted public holiday referred to in paragraphs 60d(1)(a) and (b) and overtime referred to in section 60a shall be paid not later than the last day of the next wage period.

(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), if the Director General is satisfied that payment within such time is not reasonably practicable, he may, on the application of the employer, extend the time of payment by such number of days as he thinks fit.”.

Then, there is also the provision that no the application of the employer, the DG can delay further the time of payment of wages &  overtime payments. There seem to be no requirement to even get the worker's consent. This is also unacceptable.

When workers get their wages at the end of the month, it must certainly include all payments for overtime done, work on rest day/public holidays, etc... and naturally workers can then use that money for living expenses, or even for investment maybe by purchasing unit trusts, or even investing in amanah saham. Now, the new proposed amendment will deprive the worker of money/interest/dividends that he could have earned for one month - and giving employers the ability to use that money and make more money through various short-term investment schemes. No interest will also be given to workers for the 1-month delayed payments.

Normally workers, when they want to leave their job, they usually wait for their salary and then leave - but if the amendment goes through, then they still have to come back for their overtime, work on rest day/public holidays to get their money. And, who is going to pay for the extra expenses they incur - including the taking a day off (usually unpaid leave) to just go back to the ex-employer to get what is due and payable to them. This all will certainly cause additional hardship to workers...

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