Saturday, May 10, 2014

MTUC calls for strict enforcement of new retirement age - but no use if workers are not regular employees until retirement?

Good that the government has extended the retirement age to 60 - but what concerns us most is that today many employers are not providing regular(permanent employment) until retirement age.

Short-term or fixed-term employment contracts which only guarantees employment for the term, as per contract and with no provision for even extension of such contracts if the work the worker has been employed for still exist. Malaysian government fails in stopping this trend that will lead to precarious employment with no financial/economic security for the worker and their families. The concern for such workers is whether I will have a job after my contract ends. There is also concern that such short-term contract will be prejudicial to senior workers, and women especially those of child-bearing age or pregnant. Will employers hire a women who is 2 months pregnant? 

Unless, this Malaysian government puts it foot down in favour of workers and their family, and insist that all (if not most) will be employed as regular employees until retirement, the increase of retirement age or even better maternity benefits will not benefit workers on fixed-term employment contracts - a most precarious employment practice.

Regular employment is just and must be right to all workers. Workers want employment security... they want stability for themselves and their families... Workers get their skill-training at the workplace ... all of which is useless because after the end of my short-term contract, there is no other, say electronic factory, where I can apply for a job. The only jobs available in my town may be a plywood factory...where skills I got in my past job in an electronic factory is really useless.

With regular employment until retirement - one reasonably can expect better rights as my years of employment increase, and this would include wages. Even the Employment Act provides for increases in annual leave, sick leave, etc... which increases with tenure...All this would not be available for those in short-term employment contracts and other precarious forms of employment arrangements...

Regular Employment Until Retirement does not prejudice the employer, as he can always lay-off or retrench workers if his business foes not need them anymore. The employer can terminate workers who commit serious misconduct or serious breaches of employment agreement.


Updated: Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 5:09:54 PM

MTUC calls for strict enforcement of new retirement age, minimum wage

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) on Sunday called on the Labour Department to strictly enforce the new retirement age of 60 for private sector employees that came into force on July 1 last year.

Its deputy secretary-general, A. Balasubramaniam, said the congress had received complaints that many companies were not complying with the new regulation. 

"We have been informed that errant companies were still using the old 55-year retirement age clause in the contracts for new employees," he told Bernama. 

Balasubramaniam said the Labour Department could invoke Section 65 of the Employment Ordinance 1955 to inspect these companies. 

On the minimum wage issue, Balasubramaniam said this too was not fully implemented, as thousands of workers were still not being paid the minimum wage of RM900 per month for peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak. 

He reiterated the MTUC's offer to allow its officers in the regional offices to assist the Labour Department to ensure that the policy was fully implemented. - Bernama - Star, 4/5/2014, MTUC calls for strict enforcement of new retirement age, minimum wage 

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