Press Statement by Labour Law Reform Coalition on 21 December 2022 in Shah Alam
Labour Law Reform Coalition (LLRC) calls on the newly-minted Minister of Human Resources YB V Sivakumar not to bow down to employers’ pressure on implementation of Employment (Amendment) Act on 1 January 2023.
According to the news report of Free Malaysia Today dated 20 December, five retailer associations urged the Minister of Human Resources to defer the implementation of the amendments because employers are still recovering from Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the issues raised by the retailer groups are – the introduction of 45 hour of work, 98 day paternity leave, overtime claim for workers below RM4,000 will increase the burden of retailers, labour shortage and high inflation.
The retailer groups’ economic argument is self-contradictory. If companies face shortage of workers, they should welcome the amendments and increase workers’ welfare as a step to woo workers to join their companies. When workers are also suffering from high inflation, it is the right time for employers to increase their wages, give their legitimate overtime claims and cost of living allowance.
We wish to remind the minister that both the GE15 manifesto of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional commit to improve workers’ well being. Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto promised to strengthen workers’ protection through various measures, while Barisan Nasional committed to a dignified life for young workers.
The implementation of Employment (Amendment) Act had been deferred from
September 2022 to January 2023. Further deferment of the amendment will show the insincerity of the unity government on advancing workers’ rights.
We call on the unity government to respect the approval of the Employment (Amendment) Act in the Dewan Rakyat in March, please implement the amendments on 1 January 2023 as scheduled.
N. Gopal Kishnam & Irene Xavier
Labour Law Reform Coalition