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‘Bosses must be responsible’

PETALING JAYA: Bosses can no longer deduct their foreign workers’ levies from their salaries under a new set of responsibilities, which will see them signing an Akujanji (I pledge) undertaking.

Under the Employer Mandatory Commit­ment (EMC) enforced today, emplo­yers will be fully accountable for the foreign workers they hire.

The EMC covers all stages, from application, employment and until the foreign workers return to their countries.

It is also now clearly spelt out that employers must pay the annual levy charges for their foreign workers, and cannot deduct wages to pay the fee.

Employers must now also adhere to a minimum standard accommodation guideline for foreign workers.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday the policy change would ensure employers were responsible for their foreign workers’ welfare.

“The Government will introduce the undertaking letter highlighting the responsibilities and the requirements to be fulfilled by employers. We are also reviewing the deposit rate imposed on employers to bring in foreign workers as the present rates are too low,’’ he added.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is the Home Minister, said employing foreign workers was a privilege given to employers to fulfil the needs of industries and assist in national development.

However, he said there were unscrupulous employers who brought in foreign workers and then violated the law and regulations.

He said the violations included not adhering to the minimum wage policy, restricting them from travelling and holding their passports.

“There were instances where foreign workers escaped and the employers then passed the buck to the Immigration Department, police and other agencies to trace and send them back.

“These create the opportunity for irresponsible parties to conduct human-trafficking activities,” Dr Ahmad Zahid added.

Related story:

Employers shocked over new policy

Courts Crime , Zahid Hamidi , Home Ministry