Kula: Committee to look at foreign workers' salary cut proposal to curb runaways

KUALA LUMPUR: A technical committee will look into the proposal by Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic) for employers to deduct 20% of their foreign workers' basic salaries for Socso to curb runaways.

The committee from the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) will look into the proposal holistically and revert back to the Ministry on Jan 29 next year with its findings, said Kulasegaran.

"The whole idea of deducting their salary (for Socso) is to ensure that there are substantial savings for foreign workers when they are going home after the end of their employment.

"It is a form of security for them. For many of them, when they want to return home, they don't have enough money at their disposal.

"I have asked the technical committee of the NLAC to revert back with a mechanism on how to go about it," he told reporters after chairing the NLAC meeting with employer groups in Parliament on Sunday (Dec 16).

The committee will among others, also discuss whether expatriates would be included in the system.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Tan Sri Azman Shah Haron who was present at the meeting, assured that the foreign workers' views will be taken into account.

"At the moment, this is just a suggestion. It still needs to be debated and examined in all angles by the technical committee.

"As for the foreign workers, I'm sure they will be represented by the unions' view," said Azman.

On Saturday (Dec 15), Kulasegaran proposed for employers to deduct 20% of their foreign workers' basic salaries and to park it under Socso in order to prevent employees from absconding.

The money would be returned to these workers when they return home after their work permit expires.

Kulasegaran said that the proposal will also prevent employers from incurring losses on investments to bring foreign workers in after the latter run away.