The Labour Law Reform Coalition (LLRC) has sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, urging the government to move forward with the labor reform agenda promised by previous governments.

The proposed amendments include reducing the workweek from 48 hours to 40 hours, greater protections for migrant workers, and the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 and 111 among others.

“We realize that these amendments are very, very important looking at the current scenario where the impact of Covid-19 (has) escalated to not only businesses, (but) also poor workers.

“That is why we are emphasizing again that (the) amendment has to take its course, as promised by the various ministers,” LLRC chairperson N Gopal Kishnam told Malaysiakini.

He added that the coalition strongly believed that the various labor law reforms will assist the government’s aim to achieve 40 percent of the Shared Prosperity Vision for any employment sector.

“Malaysia’s labor law reform is an important step towards achieving the Shared Prosperity Vision of 2030, which is to make Malaysia a sustainable development country that ensures fair economic distribution, addressing the asymmetric power balance and unfair income distribution between employers and the workers,” said the group in its memorandum.

The Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 is a document that outlines 10-year goals to restructure Malaysia’s low-skill labor-intensive economy to a knowledge-based economy, where its citizens will enjoy a decent standard of living.

The objective of the memorandum is to urge the Human Resources Ministry to submit the Bill on various amendments to the Trade Unions Act 1959 and the Employment Act 1955, before the end of this year.

The LLRC noted that the Harapan government had tabled and passed the Industrial Relations Bill in Oct 2019 – which later came into force on Jan 1, 2021.

However, other proposed labor reforms remain subject to the amendment of the Trade Unions Act.

In August 2020, the coalition had submitted a memorandum to Human Resources Minister M Saravanan, urging the ministry to table the Trade Union Act and the Employment Act amendments in parliament as soon as possible.

However, both bills have yet to be brought to Parliament.



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