PUTRAJAYA, Dec 21 — The enforcement of the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022, which was previously postponed, will be implemented on January 1, 2023, said Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar.
Speaking at a press conference here today, he said that although there were calls from industries to extend the postponement period, there was also a need to enforce amendments to the act.
“I think we should go on with this matter because this law was already passed in Parliament and most of the amendments are based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention,” said Sivakumar.
On August 26, then human resources minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan announced the postponement of the enforcement of amendments to the Employment Act 1955 to January 1, 2023, from its earlier scheduled date of September 1.
Apart from reducing working hours from 48 to 45 hours per week, the amended law will also increase maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days and paternity leave from three days to seven days.
Sivakumar said under the amendment to the Employment Act 1955, the employers must obtain approval from the director-general of the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) to hire foreign workers as stipulated under Section 60K (4).
According to him, Section 60K (4) will act as an effective initial screening in ensuring that employers employing foreign workers in Malaysia have a clean record in terms of compliance with labour standards.
Meanwhile, Sivakumar said the Ministry of Human Resources (KSM) would continue to work with the Home Ministry (KDN) to overcome the shortage of foreign workers issue as raised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the press conference after the Cabinet meeting earlier today.
“We view this matter seriously and will work with KDN to ensure that we have sufficient manpower in the near future,” he said, adding that the KSM has so far approved nearly 700,000 applications to bring in foreign workers to Malaysia.
Earlier, Anwar had asked the KDN and KSM to expedite approval to bring in foreign workers in three sectors, especially in the agriculture, service, and construction sectors.
In another development, Sivakumar said the One Channel System (OCS), which is an integrated channel for Malaysia and Indonesia for the recruitment of foreign workers to the country, will be placed under the KSM.
“Whether the OCS is under KSM or KDN is not the issue, what is important is the end result and we have enough (foreign) workers,” he said.