Nearly 23,000 workers retrenched this year, says minister

According to Riot Jaem, a major factor for retrenchments is the gloomy global economic condition


P Prem Kumar & D KanyakumariA totaL of 22,965 employees in Malaysia were retrenched between January and July 31 this year, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Richard Riot Jaem (picture).

He said from the total, 91% — or 20,789 — were layoffs. The other retrenched workers had opted for voluntary separation.

Riot Jaem said a major factor for retrenchments is the gloomy global economic condition, which has forced some companies to scale down or shut operations.

“Some companies have shut down, some partially closed and many others opted for joint ventures to cut cost.

“There are also companies undertaking business restructuring in terms of production size and minimising its labour force,” he said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday, in response to Kuala Langat MP Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid.

Abdullah Sani had asked the government to state the latest retrenchment volume and actions that could be taken by the workers.

Riot Jaem said employees who are laid off will need to file claims under the Employment Act 1955 if a service contract has been disconnected.

“Claims for financial feasibility denied by employers can be brought to the labour court through a lawsuit or to any labour office.

“If the company is still in operation, the employees involved are also entitled to take action under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 on the unlawful termination and claim for reinstatement of employment,” Riot Jaem said.

He said the retrenched workers should notify the labour department in writing pursuant to the Employment Act 1955 (Act 265).

Riot Jaem said the ministry has also established a team to monitor compensation payment for the employees, as well as placement in the appropriate industry.

“Those departments and agencies will also be able to provide training to help assist retrenched workers on adapting new skills,” he said.