PUTRAJAYA: The Human Resources Ministry is seeking to tighten and make changes to the existing labour regulations and laws.

These include the 64-year-old Employment Act legislated in 1955, the 60-year-old Trade Unions Act legislated in 1959, the 62-year-old Industrialisation Act legislated in 1957, the Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the move to amend the labour law was meant to further safeguard the rights of workers.

He said the proposed amendments and changes would involve seven pieces of labour related legislation, which would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat’s July sitting.

“The proposed legislative amendments would also include a clause on workplace discrimination.”

Kulasegaran said it would take time to change the laws as it would involve detailed discussions with stakeholders.

He said the ministry was also looking to legislate a standalone law to further strengthen the protection of domestic workers.

However, he said, work on this standalone law was still in the early stages.

Kulasegaran said the major changes to labour law included a provision for Social Security Organisation (Socso) benefits for 1.4 million housewives, nationwide.

He said there were also plans to beef-up the ministry’s enforcement unit. He said they hoped to do so by roping in officers from other sections of the ministry.

Kulasegaran said the ministry was also looking into reducing the number of raids conducted on foreign workers recruitment companies, by allowing special compliance audits to be conducted voluntarily.

“This is still at the proposal stage, but the audits should be conducted by an independent agency by the individual company to audit all matters related to its human resources, such as the allocation of leave, wages and so on.

“When they are done they will send the report to us as well as the company, at the same time,” he said.