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Published: Monday December 31, 2012 MYT 4:12:00 PMUpdated: Sunday January 6, 2013 MYT 9:21:00 AM
BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS
KUALA LUMPUR: A trade union wants the Prime Minister to intervene in determining the date that the minimum retirement age for private sector employees take effect, saying the new ruling should take effect Jan 1 instead of July 1.
The Union Network International-Malaysian Liaison Council (UNI-MLC) claimed by delaying the implementation date of the Act, about one million workers who would reach the retirement age of 55 between now and June 30 would miss out from having the opportunity to serve till they reach 60.
Its president Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said the union would be sending a memorandum to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday to seek his immediate assistance to “correct the matter”.
“Why can't the government have the Act take effect on Jan 1 and get companies to comply. Workers, especially those who are supposed to retire this year are unhappy with this decision. They are at the losing end if this is not rectified,” he said.
Shafie questioned Human Resources Minister's “delay” in implementing the Minium Retirement Act 2012 when it had already been passed, given the Royal assent and gazetted.
“Why must the Human Resources Minister set the implementation date to July 1 and not tomorrow. The decision not only disappoints affected workers but also their families who depend on them to bring income to the household.
“We hope to be able to meet the Prime Minister and hand over the memorandum. We hope that he will be able to settle this for us, which will be an advantage to the government as it affects the rakyat. Furthermore, we do not want this issue to be politicised,” he said.
Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam had announced on Dec 8 that effective July 1, the retirement age for workers in the private sector will be raised from the current age of 55 to 60.
Employers, however, can ask to be exempted from the new ruling for up to six months, until Dec 31 next year.
Shafie said the six-month exemption was also an issue of concern because if companies were allowed the reprieve, then a large majority of employees turning 55 this year would have to retire even though the law allows for them to work for another five years.
UNI-MLC deputy president R. Chandrasekaran said the ministry should ensure that companies applying for extension should inform their employees their reason to ensure “strong and justifiable arguments” were given.
“If workers don't know the reasons, then we cannot challenge the employers and those who have reached 55 will have to retire despite the Act in place,” he said.
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