KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is seeking labour reforms, including a RM300 cost of living allowance, housing allowances as well as 30 days of paid leave for Muslim workers to perform the haj.
Also proposed are 98 days of maternity leave and seven days of paternity leave.
MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon said labour laws in Malaysia had become archaic since most of them were introduced in the 50s and 60s.
“The environment has changed over the years, and there is far greater recognition about human dignity, human values, worker rights.
“It is long overdue for a comprehensive overhaul of various labour laws,” he said in a statement.
He said the proposals made to the government included raising the minimum salary from RM2,000 a month to RM10,000 for workers to be covered under the Employment Act 195, maternity leave to be raised from 60 days to 98 days, and paternity leave of seven days.
“Other proposals were to include both domestic workers and foreign workers to be covered under the Employment Act, a 15-minute break for every two hours of work to enable workers to do light stretching exercises to improve workers’ health and reduce medical cost.
“Medical examination, consultation and all treatments to be borne by the employer, where there are more than 100 employees, the employer is to provide a childcare centre within the vicinity of the company and alternatively pay an allowance of RM300 as childcare subsidy for children aged seven years and below, up to a maximum of five children,” he said.
He said they also proposed for the employer to provide a safe and hygienic room for lactating mothers, increase sick leave to 30 days (currently 15) and 60 days of hospitalisation irrespective of years of service.
“A cost of living allowance of RM300 per month, termination benefits shall be a minimum of two months for every year of service irrespective of the number of years of service.
“All Muslim workers be granted 30 days’ paid leave to perform the haj; and housing allowance of RM300 to workers in urban areas or alternatively to provide subsidy on housing loan interest rates for those earning less than RM10,000,” he said were among the other items proposed.
Solomon added that three laws that should be reviewed were the Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967 and Trade Union Act 1959.