Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Malaysians work 40 hours a week and earn a decent income for a good life? Malaysia's Top Glove investigated by Britain?

Is it not time for Malaysian working hours to be no more than 40 hours a week, and all workers earn enough just working 40 hours to live a decent life? Is it not time for Malaysia to reduce the overtime limit, which now stands at 104 hours OT per month?

Where China differs is that employees are only allowed to work 36 hours of overtime a month – that’s about nine hours of overtime a week.

The French are only allowed to work 10 hours a day. They can work 12 only under a collective agreement. However, they must not work more than 48 hours a week.

 Overtime? What overtime? There is no overtime in the UK.

In Malaysia, the hours of work generally is not more than 8 hours per day, and not more than 48 hours per week. Overtime permitted by law sadly is an exorbitant 104 hours a month, meaning that Malaysian workers could end up working 12 hours per working day...Overtime requires CONSENT by the worker but alas, many workers really do not feel they have a 'CHOICE' and must do overtime if the employer request. 

The worry is the possible loss of employment, discrimination when it comes to wage increments and/or promotions. In short, to protect workers, Malaysia needs to limit the number of hours of overtime permitted by law...and also stipulate the conditions that need to be fulfilled when a worker can be asked to work overtime..

Hours of Work is the first International Labour Organisation Convention, but alas Malaysia has not ratified it...

That 1921 Convention stated that workers will have to work not more than 8 hours per day OR not more than 48 hours a week..

OVERTIME - well it is OK for certain situation - but no worker shall have to work more than 56 hours in a week. [This means that an additional 32 hours a week generally]

But wait, Article 5, stipulates even with agreement between workers and employer, the total number of hours shall not exceed 48 hours a week.

That means, that workers may be required to work on certain weeks(plus OT) for maybe  up to 56 hours - but still end up working 48 hours a week - which means, if at certain time there is OT - then working hours for the rest of the year may have to be less than 8 per day - to compensate the additional hours of work

Internationally,the move has been towards the REDUCTION of HOURS OF WORK - C047 - Forty-Hour Week Convention, 1935 (No. 47) Convention concerning the Reduction of Hours of Work to Forty a Week (Entry into force: 23 Jun 1957).

But, in Malaysia, the government by law sets the limit of overtime per month at 104 hours a week...

FLA’s investigation found that within the last 12 months, all three factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard of 60 hours per week (regular plus overtime) and the Chinese legal limits of 40 hours per week and 36 hours maximum overtime per month.- FLA investigations confirms Apple's worker rights violations...

C001 - Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919 (No. 1) Convention Limiting the Hours of Work in Industrial Undertakings to Eight in the Day and Forty-eight in the Week (Entry into force: 13 Jun 1921)
Article 2
The working hours of persons employed in any public or private industrial undertaking or in any branch thereof, other than an undertaking in which only members of the same family are employed, shall not exceed eight in the day and forty-eight in the week,...
Article 3
The limit of hours of work prescribed in Article 2 may be exceeded in case of accident, actual or threatened, or in case of urgent work to be done to machinery or plant, or in case of "force majeure", but only so far as may be necessary to avoid serious interference with the ordinary working of the undertaking.
Article 4
The limit of hours of work prescribed in Article 2 may also be exceeded in those processes which are required by reason of the nature of the process to be carried on continuously by a succession of shifts, subject to the condition that the working hours shall not exceed fifty-six in the week on the average. Such regulation of the hours of work shall in no case affect any rest days which may be secured by the national law to the workers in such processes in compensation for the weekly rest day.
Article 5
  1. 1. In exceptional cases where it is recognised that the provisions of Article 2 cannot be applied, but only in such cases, agreements between workers' and employers' organisations concerning the daily limit of work over a longer period of time may be given the force of regulations, if the Government, to which these agreements shall be submitted, so decides.
  2. 2. The average number of hours worked per week, over the number of weeks covered by any such agreement, shall not exceed forty-eight.


See some earlier relevant posts

OT - workers in Malaysia have a choice to refuse? Reduce draconian OT limit of 104 hours/month to 50 hr/mth

8 hours or 12 hours per day should workers in Malaysia work? Help workers PH government.

Hopefully Malaysia will also investigate ...and more importantly amend laws to ensure all workers in Malaysia no longer have to work more than 8 hours a day - and certainly no more than 48 hours a week.
LEGAL overtime limits have also got to be reduced from 104 hours a month to maybe no more than 32-40 hours a month, with the condition that at an average, no worker shall have to work more than 48 hours per week

UK launches probe after labour rights expose at Malaysia’s Top Glove

Top Glove employs at least 11,000 migrant workers. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Britain is launching an investigation into medical gloves used by its health service after a Thomson Reuters Foundation expose found stocks from Malaysia could be tainted by the mistreatment of migrant workers at the world’s biggest glovemaker.

The health ministry said it would investigate standards at Top Glove Corp Bhd – which makes rubber gloves sold to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) – after the expose found some migrants working illegal overtime to pay off debts.

Top Glove last week vowed to do more to tackle excessive overtime after the Thomson Reuters Foundation found some workers clocked more than the amount permitted by law, and said it would cut ties with agents charging migrant workers huge fees to get them jobs.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has discovered that at least one Top Glove product is supplied to the NHS via a British firm, raising doubts about Britain’s capacity to ensure its medical supply chain is free of labour abuses and unethical practices.
Labour experts, doctors and diplomats have voiced concerns to both the British and Malaysian governments about Malaysia’s rubber glove industry, which is also facing scrutiny globally, from US activists to public procurement officials in Sweden.

“In line with the government’s policy and leadership on modern slavery, we take any allegations of this kind incredibly seriously,” said a spokeswoman for Britain’s health department.

“We are working with NHS Supply Chain (an organisation formed by the government to supply goods to the NHS) to ensure that these issues are investigated as a matter of urgency.”

Top Glove, which accounts for more than a quarter of all rubber gloves produced worldwide and exports to 195 countries, employs at least 11,000 migrant workers, from countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.

Top Glove was not immediately available to comment on the investigation launched by Britain’s health ministry.

But Top Glove’s managing director Lee Kim Meow told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Thursday that they would want to stop dealing with any suppliers found to be unscrupulous.

“It’s our duty to do that, we will never condone it,” he said, defending the conditions in the company’s 40 factories – 35 of which are in Malaysia.

Campaigners said this case showed Britain was struggling to monitor and manage its medical supply chain, despite the country’s claim to be a world leader in tackling modern slavery.

Britain’s landmark 2015 Modern Slavery Act requires large companies to outline the actions they have taken to combat modern slavery in their operations, but the first-of-its kind law does not apply to public procurement – or NHS Supply Chain.

“It is glaringly obvious that Britain has taken modern slavery seriously in legislative terms but that is not translating into public procurement,” said Cindy Berman, head of modern slavery strategy at the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).

“Britain is well behind at the European level when it comes to health procurement,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


A production list from one Top Glove factory in Malaysia showed “Handsafe” gloves were shipped to UK company and NHS-approved supplier HPC Healthline – now Polyco Healthline after a 2016 merger between Polyco Group and HPC Group.

The list could not be verified by the Thomson Reuters Foundation but Polyco confirmed one of their “Handsafe” products which is sold to hospitals via the NHS Supply Chain’s online catalogue comes from a Top Glove factory.

“Polyco Healthline does source from factories in Malaysia and owing to past policies and practices it is recognised as a country with risks associated with migrant labour and labour rights issues,” said Nigel Watson of Polyco’s supply chain team.

“We have a detailed process for supplier selection and work closely with those that are approved, supporting them to continually improve their practices and instil a transparent approach to work-life balance and social responsibility.”

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Polyco but medical experts have questioned NHS Supply Chain’s oversight and the effectiveness of a labour standards system it introduced in 2012 requiring suppliers to assess conditions in their supply chains.

“NHS Supply Chain has tried to… ensure its goods are sourced in an ethical and transparent way,” said Mahmood Bhutta, an NHS surgeon and founder of the Medical Fair and Ethical Trade Group at the British Medical Association (BMA) – a trade union.

“But it is clear that the system isn’t working – there is a lack of transparency and ownership on the issue,” said the BMA member, who has previously raised alarm about the manufacturing of gloves and surgical instruments destined for use in the NHS.

NHS Supply Chain said last month that it did not “knowingly procure” from a supplier using Top Glove as its manufacturer and pledged to investigate after being presented with the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s reporting on Top Glove and Polyco.

“We have a range of contractual arrangements and initiatives in place to try and prevent (labour abuses) arising,” a spokeswoman for NHS Supply Chain said in light of the findings.

Government concerns

Malaysian labour activists over the weekend demanded action from their government into the findings and urged Top Glove to commit to further investigate their working conditions.

A spokesman for the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur said it had been made aware of concerns about Top Glove’s treatment of migrant workers and was “raising our concerns to the Malaysian ministry of human resources”.

Pauline Gothberg, national coordinator of the Swedish County Council Network on Sustainable Public Procurement, said her office planned to audit several government suppliers of rubber gloves which had confirmed they sourced from Malaysia.

Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran told the Thomson Reuters Foundation last week that major companies in the country must take the lead to ensure there are no labour abuses.

Several Top Glove workers said they worked a lot of overtime to pay off debts to recruitment agents in their home countries.

Some clocked 90 to 120 hours of overtime a month, according to documents seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, above the 104 hour overtime limit stipulated by Malaysia’s labour laws.

One worker said he had borrowed US$1,100 (RM4,580) from a moneylender with a 3% monthly interest rate to pay back an agent in Nepal who got him a job at Top Glove in Malaysia.

“If I don’t work these extra hours, how could I possibly earn enough?” he said, requesting anonymity to protect his job. - FMT News, 9/12/2018


...Surprisingly, China does better by its workers on overtime than the UK and US do.
In China, workers who work overtime get paid 1.5 to 3 times of their normal wage. Photograph: Feng Li/Getty Images


Under a rule similar to those in the US, employees should not work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. If employees do work overtime, they must be paid 1.5 times their wage. Additionally, high-ranking managers do not have to be paid overtime.

Where China differs is that employees are only allowed to work 36 hours of overtime a month – that’s about nine hours of overtime a week. If they end up working on a weekend, they are to be paid double their regular wage or get a day off during the week. If they work on a statutory holiday, they must be paid three times their normal wage.

United Kingdom

Overtime? What overtime? There is no overtime in the UK. Instead, employers can offer their hardworking employees additional time off, known as time off in lieu.

Employees in the UK, however, should not work more than 48 hours a week – that is, unless they agree to it.
Parisians and tourists rest and play in the Jardins du Trocadero in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Photograph: Etienne Laurent/EPA


Any hours worked over 35 a week have to be paid at an overtime rate. The first eight hours of overtime must be paid at 1.25 times a worker’s normal wage and after that at 1.5 times the usual wage.
The French are only allowed to work 10 hours a day. They can work 12 only under a collective agreement. However, they must not work more than 48 hours a week.


In Canada, overtime regulations differ by jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have work weeks that are 40 hours and others are 44 hours long. On Prince Edward Island, employees have to work 48 hours a week before qualifying for overtime. In some areas, employees who work overtime are paid 1.5 times their normal wage. In others, employees are paid a flat rate – as in New Brunswick, where the flat rate is $12.38 an hour.
Source: Guardian

No comments: