Players in wellness and spa industries appeal for workers

KOTA KINABALU: Players in the wellness and spa industries are appealing to the government to allow them to rehire foreign workers to resume business post-pandemic.

President of the Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa (MAWSpa) Dorothea Justin said with all business and social sectors already allowed to operate, there shouldn’t be any reason why there are restrictions for hiring foreign workers in specific industries.

“Why is the government blind to the fact that all sectors are experiencing a shortage of workers and need foreign workers to fill vacancies?” she asked.

She said allowing only specific sectors to engage foreign workers was discriminatory and could lead to workers jumping from allowed sectors to left-out sectors.

It would also force these workers to go from being legal to becoming illegal, said Justin, the World Spa Organisation ambassador for Malaysia.

She said this would compound the illegal numbers and incentivise agents to encourage jumping to extort successive fees from workers and desperate employers.

“With this in mind, the wellness and spa industry is appealing to the government to include all sectors of services, not just those in restaurants, to engage foreign workers,” she said.

Justin said wellness and spa operators had suffered financially, emotionally and mentally for over two years during the pandemic.

They are also not included in the sectors allowed to rehire foreign workers.

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