Saturday, April 11, 2015

MALAYSIA:::Keep hands off cash from service charge, MTUC tells bosses

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trade Unions Congress is urging employers to keep their hands off the service charge money which belongs to employees.
The call follows reports that the majority of hotels had been using the service charge to meet the minimum wage for their employees. Following this, there have been suggestions to abolish the charge altogether.
MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Krishnam said it was wrong for employers to take the amount gained from the service charge to make up for any shortfall to the RM900 minimum wage set by the Government.

He also said the service charge system should continue due to the low earnings that hotel workers got.
“Service charge is not something new. It has been there since the hotel industry started in the country,” he added.
He also agreed that service charge gave more income stability for the workers compared to the tipping practice.
“Service charge is transparent while tipping is not. Some might get RM800 and some might get zero.
“Whatever they receive (through service charge), they are sharing the money and all workers will get a fair amount based on their performance,” he said.
Krishnam, however, expressed regret that the Government was rushing into resolving the matters without listening to all parties involved.
“A tripartite meeting between the Government, employers and employees is essential to help improve the matter,” he said.
Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, however, said hotel and restaurant business owners were allowed to add some of the entire amount collected from the service charge to complete the minimum wage requirement.
“Based on the guidelines on the implementation of the minimum wages, hoteliers and restaurateurs are given permission to use a portion or full collection from the service charge to be made a part of the salary paid to the workers.
He also said that it would be unfair for employers if the service charge was abolished as they would have to fork out a large portion of money to meet the minimum wage requirement.
On the requirement that only hotels and eating establishments with a collective agreement with their workers can collect a 10% service charge, Shamsuddin regarded that as unfair. The requirement came about following the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1.
“This will also lead to disputes between employers and employees as matters related to service charge have already been included in the appointment letter,” Shamsuddin said.

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