PETALING JAYA: The Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (Uni-MLC) has highlighted a number of key issues that should be addressed by both the government and employers as part of Labour Day celebrations this year.
Uni-MLC president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal called on the Human Resources Ministry to develop a new labour policy that would meet the needs and challenges of the post-Covid-19 era.
“The ministry should hold a dialogue with all stakeholders involved to review all the current policies and labour laws in this regard,” he said in a statement on Sunday (April 30).
He also recommended a number of other measures to help ensure the welfare of workers throughout the country.
“The contribution rate contribution to the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) from the employer's share should be raised from 13% to 20%, especially for employees with a salary of RM4,000 and below, to ensure employees have adequate savings when they retire," he said.
Mohamed Shafie also said that the mandatory retirement age of 60 should be reviewed and revised to allow employees to work longer.
“The application of the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment 2022) should be extended to workers in Sabah and Sarawak to guarantee their workers' rights and welfare are defended as a federal state.
“Review the low pension payments to retirees of government-linked companies as some pensioners are (living) below the poverty line.
“The government must also review the pension status of former Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) employees following the bank’s corporatisation," he said.
He added that there should also be a policy to enforce the mandatory setting up of more nurseries or child care centres at all workplaces to help deal with the labour shortages problem,” he said.
Shafie also called for more support to be given to Malaysian film industry workers, saying that as many as 70% of workers were working without a certification with up to 80% unable to afford their own home or pay for health services or emergencies due to low wages.
“Most receive no recognition from the government or employers as a majority are forced to work as freelancers with no act currently to protect their welfare,” he added.
He also called for employers to prioritise hiring local workers for jobs instead of a foreign workforce.