PETALING JAYA | The Bar Council has asked legal firms not to register with the Human Resources Development Corporation (HRDC) or stop the monthly contributions for those who have already signed up pending an appeal against a court decision.

In a recent circular to members, the council said it had obtained a stay against a High Court decision rejecting its challenge to the mandatory contribution to the training fund managed by HRDC.

The Bar had sought leave to seek a judicial review against the organisation, which was rejected on Oct 16. On Oct 18, an interim stay was granted until the next court date Nov 29, the circular said.

The legal fraternity said legal firms should be exempted from the requirement to make HRDF training contributions as the Bar has its own training programmes. as part of its continuing professional development programmes.

Last year, the Bar Council and six other professional bodies including the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) wrote to the human resources ministry objecting to the directive to register and pay the levy.

It is compulsory for employers with 10 or more Malaysian staff to register with HRDC. For those with five to nine workers, this was optional.

The firms must contribute a sum equivalent to 1% of the monthly salary of each employee. For those where it is optional, it is 0.5% of a worker’s wages.