Minimum wage policy: Stern action awaits errant employers

16 Jan 2014 / 22:21 H.

    PETALING JAYA (Jan 16, 2014): Employers who fail to pay their workers the minimum wage of RM900 in the peninsula and RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak will, with immediate effect, be fined RM10,000 per worker and RM20,000 or five years’ jail for subsequent offences.
    This follows the end of the grace period on Jan 1 given by the Human Resources Ministry to employers to implement the policy under the National Wages Consultative Council Act.
    The policy, which set the floor wages, was officially enforced on Jan 1 last year, but 1,044 employers were allowed a deferment as they had difficulty implementing the policy.
    Human Resources Deputy Minister Datuk Ismail Abd Muttalib said employers had been given enough time to do so and there will be no more grace period.
    He said the government had taken into consideration employers facing difficulty in implementing the policy and had given them time to sort out their problems. “It’s time for action against errant employers,” he told a press conference at the ministry today.
    The ministry has received 622 complaints from workers, non-governmental organisations and the public that the policy had not been implemented at places of employment.
    “Out of 622 complaints, 565 of them had not obeyed the order (Minimum Wages Order 2012) to implement minimum wages giving various excuses,” Ismail said.
    The ministry has also stepped up investigations into three employers in Selangor who had not adhered to the minimum wage policy.
    Asked if the ministry will raise floor wages in light of the rising cost of living, Ismail said it will be considered in periodic reviews.
    He said he had received suggestions to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 but declined to elaborate.
    He also commended employers who had implemented the minimum wage according to the schedule, including those who had paid employees more than what was required.

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