Monday, August 12, 2019

Teach students worker rights so they do not end up cheated by Employers? MTUC says increase in employer cheating workers?

Malaysian Trade Union Congress highlights rising trend in 'defrauding' workers of their rights - YES, Malaysian workers also do not know their rights in most cases, and this includes workers with university is sad but true. And are the HR Ministry officers doing regular checks to ensure worker rights not violated?

How and when can employees go to lodge complaints/make claims at Labour Office - take 'annual leave'? When HR Offices ask them to turn up at the office, again take 'annual leave' - what is employer do not give? After normal working hours Labour Office is closed - maybe all Labour Offices should open until 10pm every day, and even on rest days to make it easy for workers to highlight breaches of law by employers..may email should also be available to workers to lodge complaints...Maybe new kind of 'paid leave' called 'administration of justice leave' - for when workers are required to attend at HR Ministry's departments for conciliation, investigation and/or even trials...

EDUCATION of rights including worker rights should part of our education curriculum maybe for lower secondary students. Students have to be educated about worker rights, including also about trade unions and its importance..

REMEMBER that in Malaysia the law does not guarantee and protect rights of workers. The rights provided for in the Employment Act 1955 including annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, public holidays, etc currently only protect workers earning less than RM2,000, and those involved in manual work or those who supervise manual workers - Well, the Minister has said that this law will be amended to cover all workers...BUT still no amendment to the law...

So for all other workers, those earning more than RM2,000, you will not have most basic rights UNLESS it is in the employment contract you sign with your employer...

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - Many were 'confused' about their right to a public holiday when the King was crowned...BUT, what even our EMPLOYMENT ACT today guarantees 11 public holidays - which for certain there is only 5 that is 100% public holiday - Merdaka, Hari Malaysia, May Day(Hari Buruh), Agung's Birthday and Sultan's Birthday.

The 6 other paid public holiday is chosen by the EMPLOYER.(And, if the employees agree, then it can be replaced with some other day for this 6 or any other additional public holiday)

BUT employees can demand and get more paid public holidays a year...they need to get the employer to agree. The Act only provides for the Minimum. This is where a Union or workers joint struggle is important for getting more rights above the minimum...

 Section 60D  Holidays (Employment Act 1955)

 (1) Every employee shall be entitled to a paid holiday at his ordinary rate of pay on the following days in any one calendar year:

(a) on eleven of the gazetted public holidays, five of which shall be-
(i) the National Day;
(ii) the Birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;
(iii) the Birthday of the Ruler or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, as the case may be, of the State in which the employee wholly or mainly works under his contract of service, or the Federal Territory Day, if the employee wholly or mainly works in the Federal Territory;
(iv) the Workers' Day; and
(v) Malaysia Day; and
(b) on any day appointed as a public holiday for that particular year under section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 [Act 369];
Provided that if any of the public holidays referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) falls on-
(i) a rest day; or
(ii) any other public holiday referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b),
the working day following immediately the rest day or the other public holiday shall be a paid holiday in substitution of the first mentioned public holiday.
(1A) The employer shall exhibit conspicuously at the place of employment before the commencement of each calendar year a notice specifying the remaining six gazetted public holidays provided for in paragraph (1)(a) in respect of which his employees shall be entitled to paid holidays under paragraph (1)(a):
Provided that by agreement between the employer and an employee any other day or days may be substituted for one or more of the said remaining six gazetted public holidays provided for in paragraph (1) (a);
And provided further that the employer may grant the employee any other day as a paid public holiday in substitution for any of the public holidays referred to in paragraph (1) (b).


MTUC warns bosses over rising trend in ‘defrauding’ workers of their rights

MTUC secretary-general J Solomon. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has trained its guns on errant employers following a rise in “dishonest acts” to defraud their workers, particularly when it comes to their compensation.

MTUC secretary-general J Solomon told FMT some employers were constantly seeking ways to hire and fire workers with no regard for the impact such practices have on workers.

He also said it was uncertain how much of this was due to discrimination.

“In such instances, the employers must be held to account for not honouring their contractual obligations, such as paying wages as stipulated, failing to provide employees with payslips and not remitting statutory deductions or contributions to the relevant authorities as required,” he said.

Another possible reason for this trend, he noted, is because of a lack of awareness on the part of workers of their rights at the workplace and their work contracts.

He said employment contracts do not necessarily need to be in writing.

“In cases where there is a written contract, the worker should always keep a copy as this might help avoid disagreements on terms and conditions of work.”

Solomon said many young workers, even those with tertiary education, lacked knowledge on their rights at the workplace because they have not learnt about trade unions.

“People just take for granted the many gains made over the years by the trade union movement.”

Workers must be made aware that they can initiate complaints when their rights are not respected, he said.

Otherwise, they will be left unprotected and without social security protection and superannuation (pension) benefits.

“Young people should be exposed to core values and rights in the workplace while they are in school. These must be further emphasised in tertiary education.”

Solomon also noted that “over-reliance” on foreign workers was the main problem facing the industrial sector in the country, particularly in the manufacturing and service industries.

He added that the mass media, both print and electronic, should play a bigger role in educating workers on their rights.

“Many workers, who are covered by employment laws, may not be aware of their rights.”

But employers’ organisations must also be held responsible if they do not “ensure integrity in their conduct”. - Free Malaysia Today, 11/8/2019

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