Sunday, March 8, 2015

MALAYSIA:::No proper regulations to protect domestic workers, says MTUC

The Malaysian government needs to come up with laws and regulations to protect the basic rights of domestic workers, says Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).
Its former vice-president, Mohd Jafar Abdul Majid, told The Rakyat Post that the lack of such laws was the reason many of them had been subjected to different forms of abuse in the course of their occupation.
“We have been fighting for these workers’ rights for a while now and yet nothing has been done.

“The authorities need to realise that the lack of protection and regulations protecting the domestic workers working in the country can lead to unfair treatment that can jeopardise the country’s image.”
He said that recent reported cases of domestic workers being abused proved that it was high time the government took the matter seriously and came up with a solution immediately.
“The public and authorities need to realise that these domestic workers are human, just like us.
“They have similar needs as employees in other sectors and, therefore, should be given equal rights.
“Unfortunately, the reality now is that they are constantly forced to work long hours, have no off days and yet are not paid more for the extra work they have to do.
“MTUC’s hands are tied. If these workers work under one employee or organisation, it will be easier for us to fight for them.
“But each of them is employed by a different employer, which would make it difficult for us to track and knock on each door to force them to listen to us.”
Mohd Jafar said the government was the only entity capable of ensuring a better life for the workers as they could provide better education to the public on the need to respect these individuals as they would anyone else.
“Proper guidelines, rules and regulations imposed on the employers would also work.
“The government can make it compulsory for them to register their domestic helpers and threaten to fine or penalise any employers who take away the workers’ basic employment rights.”
Sisters in Islam (SIS) yesterday highlighted the issue by tweeting that domestic workers were not even considered as legitimate employees, leaving them unprotected under the labour laws and denied basic financial rights, such as the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).
The MTUC says domestic workers are constantly forced to work long hours, have no off days and yet are not paid more for the extra work they have to do.

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