Ministry proposes 20% deduction of foreign workers’ salaries

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Human Resources has proposed that employers deduct 20 per cent of their foreign workers’ basic salaries.

Its Minister M Kula Segaran said the proposal, among others, aimed at preventing foreign workers from fleeing and to avoid employers from incurring losses on   investments to bring the workers in.

He said the issue of foreign workers fleeing was among major problems faced by employers and the proposal was seen as relevant in addressing the issue.

“The proposal has been submitted to the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) last week and it is open to be discussed among the stakeholders before it is finalised.

“If implemented, it is a win-win situation for employers and workers as both parties will benefit from the deduction,” he told a press conference after a dialogue session with 60 employers in the rubber glove industry here yesterday.

Kula Segaran said the deduction of foreign workers’ wages would be kept in the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and will be handed over to them when they leave the country once their work permit expires.

“The issue has also been raised in the meeting and the majority of employers welcomed the proposal,” he said, adding that the government did not set any time frame for the implementation and was leaving it to the industry players whether to accept or reject the proposal. He said the proposal was not new to the industry as it had been implemented in Japan and South Korea and it was successful in addressing the issue of foreign workers fleeing.

Kula said his ministry had also appointed Klang MP Charles Santiago as the coordinator of an independent auditor to carry out a comprehensive social compliance audit on rubber glove makers in the country.

He said Charles, an experienced activist involved in social audit   nationwide before being elected as a people’s representative, was tasked with preparing reports to the ministry pertaining to the country’s rubber glove makers’ compliance to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)   Standards on Migrant Workers.

He said among the aspects to be focused on in the report would be forced labour as well as the issue of foreign workers being forced to work excessive overtime as well as several other criteria pertaining to migrant workers as set by the ILO. – Bernama