Human Resources Ministry proposes 7 amendments to Employment Act 1955

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Human Resources Ministry has proposed seven amendments to the Employment Act 1955, including reducing working hours and complying with international labour standards.

Minister M Kulasegaran (picture) said through the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), the technical committee will present the proposed amendments to the Cabinet soon.

These include enhancing overall protection to employees, increasing productivity, reducing working hours, handling forced labour issues, complying with international labour standards, improving the effectiveness of foreign workers’ management and strengthening enforcement activities.

“The policy decision for the said amendments derives from the Budget 2019 speech in reference to improving the labour law,” Kulasegaran told reporters after concluding the seventh NLAC meeting for the year yesterday.

He said all proposals are pending approval from the Cabinet before they can be tabled in Parliament.

“I am confident that the bill to amend the Employment Act 1955 will be tabled in the October sitting,” he said, adding that he has yet to decide on when the proposals will be presented to the Cabinet.

On the weekly working hours’ reduction, Kulasegaran said no final decision has yet been made as to how many hours they will be reduced by.

Currently, the weekly working hours are stipulated at 48 hours, as stated in the Employment Act 1955.

In terms of complying with international labour standards, Kulasegaran said the government is looking into enforcing a three-day paternity leave.

“But all of these are proposals, because in the end, the Cabinet will decide,” he emphasised.

Amending the Employment Act 1955 is a part of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

Other amendments being done by the ministry include the Trade Union Act 1959, Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and Industrial Relations Act 1967.

Earlier this year, the monthly wage ceiling of RM1,100, or RM5.29 per hour, was implemented as the standard minimum wage.