Monday, October 21, 2013

Employers try to introduce Probation for migrant workers challeged by MTUC


MTUC ticks off employers, saying probation period would shortchange foreign workers

Malaysia’s main workers group has criticised employers who want a probation period and to pay 30% less for foreign workers with temporary work permits despite a government ban on the practice.

Putrajaya had issued a circular on July 11 saying that probation periods would not be applicable to foreign employees holding temporary work permits. There are an estimated two million foreign workers in Malaysia.

“The employers’ call on the government to withdraw the circular issued on July 11 which stated that a probation period is not applicable to foreign employees holding temporary working permits is most inconsiderate and inappropriate,” Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Abdul Halim Mansor said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur today.

He pointed out that all contracts of foreign workers do not stipulate a probation period, adding the workers had already been interviewed on their fitness and capabilities to fulfil the job requirements.

He also said the government had already given a blanket approval to Malaysian firms to pass the workers’ levy from employers to the workers although the MTUC was critical of that decision.

Abdul Halim also said despite all concessions, the employers’ are now demanding a further 30% reduction on the grounds that the workers are probationers, adding this was unreasonable.

“If we accept the employers’ unreasonable demand that foreign workers should be paid less during their probationary period then they will only be getting a miserable RM450 – after the deductions for the levy and accommodation.

“Employers demanding this should first check their conscience to see if one can survive with just RM 450. The employers should not be so inconsiderate,” Abdul Halim said.

He said the government must stand firm on its decision not to allow employers to mandatorily reduce the minimum wage of foreign workers during the period of probation.

“It is very clear that employers are only thinking of their profit and not the welfare of the employees,” the MTUC secretary-general said. – July 30, 2013.