Review of labour laws to protect pregnant women

Source: FMT News

Human resources ministry says employers who fire pregnant employees who are on maternity leave could be fined RM10,000. Pic from FMT News.

Human resources ministry says employers who fire pregnant employees who are on maternity leave could be fined RM10,000. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The human resources ministry says it is reviewing labour laws to protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace.

In a report in The Star today, Deputy Human Resources Minister Ismail Abd Muttalib said the Employment Act as well as 21 other labour laws would be reassessed.

“We are conducting a review to update labour laws.

“There is no law which states that it is wrong for an employer not to hire a pregnant woman. It is left to the discretion of the employer… but there must not be any discrimination,” he was quoted as saying.

Ismail was responding to Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang), who had asked if the government planned to introduce a Pregnancy Discrimination Act to safeguard the interests of women employees. Read more

We Ask Stakeholders If Foreign Workers Are Entitled To Equal Rights As Local Employees

Source: Malaysian Digest

In recent years, Malaysia has frequently been linked to human rights abuses in the international media involving migrant workers and and victims of human trafficking.

Malaysia’s human trafficking score was even a topic of international political debate recently when the United States was accused of upgrading Malaysia’s score to Tier 2 Watch List to ensure that we meet the criteria as a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

FilePic: ANN

FilePic: ANN

According to a report by the Asian Century Institute in 2014, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia rose an alarming 340% to reach 1.8 million by 2010 but have our labour laws kept up with the times to cope with this sudden spike in foreign labour presence in our country?

Malaysia outsources workers from Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.

They are mostly employed in sectors involving heavy manual labour (the infamously labelled ‘3D’ jobs) in manufacturing, construction, plantation, agricultural and domestic help. However some Malaysians do not realize that they are vital for the economy and treat these workers without respect.

What is more worrying is the increase in the number of cases that make headlines involving Malaysians dispensing vigilante justice without any regard for the law. Read more

Minister: Eight labour laws to be amended after TPPA is finalised

Source: The Malay Mail Online

TPPA - TRP file pic

TPPA – TRP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 ― Eight labour laws will be amended to improve labour standards in the country after Malaysia finalised its participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said the laws were the Trade Unions Act 1959; Industrial Relations Act 1967; Employment Act 1955; Sabah Labour Ordinance (Chapter 67); Sarawak Labour Ordinance (Chapter 76); Private Employment Agencies Act 1981; Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act, 1990 and the Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966.

“Malaysia needs to implement reforms and improvements in labour legislations in line with the high labour standards requirement, like other TPPA member countries.

“If Malaysia does not comply with the labour standards, it is likely to be prosecuted under the dispute settlement mechanism, in which case, it will be detrimental to Malaysia,” he said when winding up the TPPA debate for his ministry at a special sitting of Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

MTUC doubts TPPA can protect workers’ rights

Source: The Malaysian Insider

“TPPA: Malaysia Is Not For Sale” books sits on display during its launching at the Karangkraf Complex in Shah Alam on July 11, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has met strong opposition in Malaysia. Malaysian Trades Union Congress says a provision under TPPA on removing restrictions on unions would not make much difference to workers’ rights. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 6, 2015.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed doubt that worker related issues will be resolved even if Putrajaya amend labour laws as required under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Its secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said employers were the stumbling block to setting up unions in workplaces.

“It is easy to register unions but difficult to obtain recognition from employers to enter into collective bargaining,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Gopal was responding to the TPPA summary text released yesterday, which revealed that long-standing restrictions on unions and strikes must be removed.

He said Putrajaya had yet to ratify the International Labour Orgaisation (ILO) Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.

“This convention paves the way for workers to set up unions to protect their rights and enter into collective bargaining,” he said. Read more