THE Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has urged the Dewan Negara to reject the proposed amendments to labour laws as submitted by the Minister of Human Resources M. Kula Segaran, claiming that the Minister has not formally consulted the employers’ and workers’ groups on the matter.

“We are shocked that the Minister tabled the proposed amendments on his own volition in flagrant violation of the agreed principles of tripartism under Convention 144 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO),” said MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan. “We are also very concerned by this development as the proposed amendments have very serious implications on the existing industrial harmony in Malaysia and detrimentally impacts the nation’s economic stability.

“The Minister had not only ignored the partners before tabling the proposed amendments, there was no Regulation Impact Analysis (RIA) being conducted.” “MEF share the view of the MTUC and strongly urge the Dewan Negara to reject the proposed labour law amendments and return the proposed amendments back to the NLAC for proper discussion.” Datuk Shamsuddin said this in a media release today.

On Tuesday, the proposed amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 1967 were submitted to the Dewan Rakyat by the Minister of Human Resources who sidestepped the agreed procedure of tabling the discussions with MEF and MTUC at the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) after the discussions at the Technical Committee of NLAC on Labour law review.

On Budget 2020, Datuk Shamsuddin said the MEF welcomes the upskilling of the workforce. Datuk Shamsuddin said the government did this by attracting investments, creating jobs, reducing unemployment, reducing dependence on foreign workers as well as incentives for employers to adopt new technologies and digitalisation, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He added that the initiatives are workable strategies that aim to reinvigorate the national economy and are consistent with the MEF position. Shamsuddin welcomed Malaysians@Work, saying that it will create better employment opportunities for youths, women and the latent workforce and reduce dependence on low-skilled foreign workers. He added that the increased allocation – particularly for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) – would assist in upskilling the workforce and accelerate industry initiatives to move up the value chain.

“The government’s decision to promote greater collaboration with the industry would accelerate the mainstreaming of TVET and create better quality employment opportunities,” said Datuk Shamsuddin in a statement.

He also said that employers also stand to benefit from Apprentice@Work through the extension of double tax deductions on expenses incurred by companies participating in Skim Latihan Dual Nasional (SLDN) for another two years.


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