SUBANG, Jan 18 ― The Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) proposed today forming legislation governing domestic workers separately instead of having it as part of the Employment Act 1955.
Minister M. Kulasegaran said foreign governments have been asking for this and that it was in line with the Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, which is the 189th International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.
“There is a call among many people for there to be a specific Act for the Domestic Workers Act and for it to be a standalone Act and not part of the Employment Act,” said Kulasegaran after the 1st National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting at Holiday Villa in Subang.
“We’re hoping by doing so, it’ll give larger protection to the foreign maids working here. It’s currently being proposed as a Bill,” he added.
Kulasegaran also said there has been a proposal by the NLAC committee to amend and update three Acts under the MOHR.
They are the Employment Act, Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1994.
“Many of these labour Acts are terribly outdated,” said Kulasegaran.
Kulasegaran gave an example of the Code of Conduct of Industrial Harmony in 1975, which till today has not been amended.
“At the time there was no internet and no artificial intelligence, so we want to come up to speed and be current and relevant.
“The changing employment situation around the world necessitates we be more abreast of our working environment.
“We’ve come to a consensus that the final draft relating to these amendments will be forwarded to all stakeholders for their response before being taken up to the next stage.”
Kulasegaran also said the ministry was still in discussion on how to implement foreign workers’ salary deductions, which was proposed in December 2018.
“These matters not only involve the employees, but the employers as well. All parties need to be on board with this then we can go ahead with it,” he said.