PUTRAJAYA: The Human Resources Ministry has proposed for employers to deduct 20% of their foreign workers’ basic salaries.
Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic) said the proposal, among others, was aimed at preventing foreign workers from fleeing and to prevent employers from incurring losses on investments to bring workers in.
He said the issue of foreign workers fleeing was among major problems faced by employers and that the proposal could help address the situation.
“The proposal was submitted to the National Labour Advisory Council last week and it is open for discussion among stakeholders.
“If implemented, it is a win-win situation for employers and workers as both parties will benefit from the deduction,” he told a press conference after a dialogue session with 60 employers in the rubber glove industry yesterday.
Kulasegaran said the sum deducted from foreign workers would be kept in Socso and they would receive the money when they leave upon the expiry of their work permits.
“The issue was raised in the meeting and the majority of employers welcomed the proposal,” he said, adding that the government did not set any time frame for the implementation and that it was up to the industry players to accept or reject the proposal.
He said this had been implemented in Japan and South Korea and it was successful in addressing the issue of foreign workers fleeing.
On a separate matter, Kulasegaran said his ministry had appointed Klang MP Charles Santiago as the coordinator of an independent auditor to carry out a comprehensive social compliance audit on rubber glove makers in the country.
He said among the aspects to be focused would be allegation of forced labour, as well as foreign workers being forced to work excessive overtime.
“This report can be used by the government to respond to allegations made by the British government, parliamentarians in Europe and foreign companies over forced migrant labour,” he said.
On Dec 9, the Guardian newspaper in Britain reported that one of the world’s largest rubber glove makers, Top Glove Corp Bhd, had exploited thousands of foreign workers, including forcing them to work over 160 hours a month, exceeding the legal limit of 104 hours allowed by Malaysian law.
However, the claim was refuted after it was found that the foreign workers were working overtime “voluntarily” as they wanted to earn more money. — Bernama