Six-month grace period to meet terms for hiring foreign workers

PETALING JAYA: Employers who successfully bring in foreign workers under the new recruitment and quota plan will have six months to comply with the preconditions, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

"Once the workers are issued the temporary working visit pass (PLKS), the six-month period starts," the Home Minister said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 17).

These preconditions include adherence to labour laws, qualifying for the foreign worker hiring quota under the Human Resources Ministry and paying minimum wage.

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Joint enforcement by the Home and Human Resources Ministries as well as relevant agencies would be carried out after the six-month grace period expires, Saifuddin added.

"Action can be taken against employers who flout regulations and laws," he said, adding that such enforcement was necessary in the interest of the nation's safety and economic growth.

Last Tuesday (Jan 10), Saifuddin announced policy changes for speedier processing of foreign worker recruitment and simplified procedures for application.

On the application process, he said employers must first get approval from the Human Resources Ministry which would be done within three days.

Upon obtaining the approval document, employers can make levy payments at the Immigration Department.

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"The employers can then identify the foreign workers from the source country to undergo health screening as a precondition before they leave for Malaysia," he added.

After that, he said, employers must complete applications for the workers' single entry visa.

Once the workers arrive and immigration processing is completed, they would be issued with the PLKS.

The new recruitment and quota plan will be in force until March 31, Saifuddin added.

Employers in need of foreign workers may source from 15 countries: India, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

According to Saifuddin, representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies will visit the source countries to see that the new plan achieves its objectives.

The visits also aimed to ensure that the recalibration of foreign manpower is achieved by December, he added.

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