PUTRAJAYA: The government is implementing a worker redeployment initiative to reduce job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pic) said the initiative involved online registration by the workers through agencies such as the Department of Manpower Peninsular Malaysia, Social Security Organisation and Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd.
He said the ministry found that many local workers and foreign workers who still have valid work permits were being terminated by their employers due to the pandemic.
“The ministry calls on employers to give priority to local workers to fill the vacancies that exist at their organisations, ” he said.
“If there is no response from local workers, then the employer is given the flexibility to hire foreign workers who had been laid off by their previous employer.”
Saravanan also said employers who needed foreign workers could fill the vacancies if there was no response from locals, adding that the workers hired must be those laid off and still holding valid permits.
“This is because the government has given permission for the redeployment of workers by way of replacing the employers for foreign workers in the same sector, as well as other sectors depending on the case, ” Saravanan said.
In an immediate response, Labour Law Reform Commission co-chairman Gopal Kisham said while the government’s efforts to protect jobs was commendable, it would be meaningless if workers, especially locals, were offered low wages.
“It is estimated that a bachelor needs to earn at least RM2,700 to get by.
“If a worker lost his job and other openings paid below that amount, it would be meaningless.
“Workers need to be properly compensated, ” he said.
He said the government should take a leaf from Singapore, which he said offered a better compensation for workers, even in the 3D (dangerous, dirty and difficult) sector.
Railway Union of Malaysia president Abdul Razak Hasan said additional incentives would entice locals to take up job openings.
“Even a RM300 increase in cost of living allowance can encourage locals to take up the jobs, ” he said.
The application form for employer replacement for foreign workers can be downloaded from the Labour Department’s website at tksm.mohr.gov.my.
The forms must be sent to the Labour Department headquarters in Putrajaya by hand or post, or emailed to ptm@ mohr.gov.my.
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