Govt proposes to increase minimum wage in major cities to RM1,200

by BERNAMA/ graphic by MZUKRI

The government has proposed to increase the minimum wage in major cities to RM1,200 per month effective next year.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said this is to balance the needs of employees and employers by taking cognisance of the higher cost of living in major urban centres.

“The Pakatan Harapan government is committed to improve livelihoods, particularly for lower-income groups. The government had increased the minimum wage to RM1,100 per month effective January 2019,” he said when tabling the 2020 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Lim also said the government will review the Employment Act 1955 in order to remain relevant with the current needs of the labour market.

He said the review will involve four matters, with the first being looking into increasing maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days effective 2021.

Lim said the review would also entail extending the eligibility to overtime from those earning less RM2,000 to those earning less than RM4,000 per month.

“Third, improve protection and procedures for handling sexual harassment complaints, and; fourth, introduce new provisions on the prohibition of discrimination on religion, ethnicity and gender,” he said.

Lim also said the government will allocate an additional RM30 million in 2020 to provide more child nurseries (TASKAs), especially in hospitals and schools, to improve the working environment for women and parents.

“In addition, to ease the financial burden of parents who enrol their children in registered nurseries and kindergartens, individual tax relief for fees paid will be increased from RM1,000 to RM2,000,” he said.

He said that this year the government had created 66 new TASKAs in government facilities with a RM10 million allocation compared with the initial target of 50 TASKAs.