Employment Act needs to be improved: Minister

03 Apr 2019 / 23:15 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Employment Act 1955 does not sufficiently protect low-wage earners and needs to be more competitive, said Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran.

He said there has been discussion to promote equal protection for all workers and it is crucial that the ministry amends the Act to protect the rights of all workers.

Kula said the ministry intends to extend the application of the Act to cover all workers, irrespective of their wages so to end discrimination in the workforce.

“The Act as has helped some successful economies lower their number of working hours per day without affecting productivity and some reports have even claimed increased productivity.

“Balancing the happiness of employers and employees is no easy feat, which is why I have made it a point to conduct the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting every month since January despite only needing to do it twice a year,“ he said.

Kula added that the Malaysian Employers Federation and Malaysian Trades Union Congress are stakeholders in the NLAC.

He said they are aware that not upsetting the balance of a healthy business friendly environment is key to creating more jobs.

“There is no lack of high-skilled jobs. However, there is an unsatisfactory quality of talent being produced due to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions not being given the attention and relevance earlier.

“There was also a lack of knowledge about the importance of these institutes and how they can produce human capital of the future,“ Kula added.

He said the Pakatan Harapan government in its 2019 Budget have allotted various incentives to TVET for skill creation.

Kula said the Labour Market Information Analysis has developed the National Wages Index (NWI) as a guideline and benchmark for employers to determine the level of salaries to employees based on their qualification, skills and productivity.

He said the NWI has shown an increase in percentage of basic salary (8.2%) for the period of September 2016 and June 2018.

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