MTUC proposes series of labour reforms to benefit workers

09 Jun 2019 / 19:35 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has proposed to the government a RM300 cost of living allowance for workers, a housing allowance, as well as 30 days paid leave for Muslim workers to perform the haj.

These are among the proposals MTUC has submitted to the government which is in the midst of reviewing three key labour laws as promised by the Pakatan Harapan in its 14th general election manifesto.

MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon said the labour laws in Malaysia were archaic since most of the legislation was introduced in the 50’s and 60’s.

“The environment has changed over the years, and there is far greater recognition about human dignity, human values, and workers rights. It is long overdue for a comprehensive overhaul of various labour laws,” he said in a statement today.

At the Labour Day celebration on May 1, Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran said labour laws which were being amended to provide better protection for workers were the Trade Unions Act 1959, the Occupational Safety and Heath Act 1994, the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Employment Act 1955.

The government is expected to table the amendments at the second sitting of the Dewan Rakyat which will begin on July 1.

Among the other proposals, were:

• Maternity leave to be raised from 60 days to 98 days, and paternity leave of seven days;

• Both domestic workers and foreign workers are to be covered by the Employment Act;

• A 15-minute break for every two hours of work, to enable workers to do light stretching exercises to improve workers health and reduce medical costs;

• Medical examination, consultation and all treatment to be borne by the employer;

• Where there are more than 100 employees, the employer is to provide a child care centre within the company. Alternatively, pay an allowance of RM300 as child care subsidy for children aged seven years and below, up to a maximum of five children;

• The employer is to provide a safe and hygienic room for lactating mothers;

• Increased sick leave of 30 days (currently 15) and 60 days hospitalisation irrespective of their years of service. The worker can utilise unused sick leave for hospitalisation in addition to the 60 days hospitalisation;

* Termination benefits shall be a minimum of two months for every year of service irrespective of the number of years of service; and

• Housing allowance of RM300 for workers in urban areas or alternatively to provide a subsidy on housing loan interest rates for those earning less than RM10,000.

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