PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department will still collect the previous rate of RM10,000 for the extension levy of foreign workers until it is officially gazetted, says its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
He said they received the feedback from the Immigration Department’s foreign workers division on the collection of the extension levy for foreign workers who have worked in the country for more than 10 years.
“The explanation I received from them is that the new rate announced is still in the process of being gazetted by the Home Ministry.
“Until then, the new rate cannot be used,” he said.
Khairul Dzaimee also said there would be no refund given as payment before the gazetted date would be based on the prevailing old rate, which is RM10,000.
He urged all parties to be patient regarding the implementation of the new levy rate.
“It will be done soon, we are just waiting for it to be gazetted,” he added. However, he did not say how long it would take to gazette it.
The government in February had agreed to lower the extension fees for foreign workers who have worked in the country for more than 10 years starting in March.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet made the decision during a meeting on Feb 20 to reduce the burden of employers.
The lowering of levies will apply to five sectors – manufacturing, services, construction, agriculture and plantation – from March 1, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020.
For the manufacturing and construction sectors, the levy will be lowered from RM10,000 to RM6,000 while that for the agriculture and plantation sectors will be reduced from RM3,500 to RM2,000.
“The government is concerned about the challenges faced by businesses and industries in a global situation that is facing uncertainty,” said Lim.
There is no change in the fees for domestic workers.
Last September, Lim said employers would have to pay the entire RM10,000 levy instead of having the skilled worker pay the bulk of it as originally planned.
One day prior to that, the government announced that foreign workers who have worked in the country for more than 10 years would have to pay 80% of the levy, amounting to RM8,000, with employers bearing the remaining 20% for a three-year extension.
The reversal, Lim said, came following complaints by employers that their foreign workers could not afford to pay 80% of the total levy.
Following this, there was an outcry from various industry players who said that both employers and workers would be burdened by the levy.
Previously, foreign workers were only allowed to work in the country for a maximum of 10 years, said Tenaganita programme director Aegile Fernandez.