malaysia over 50,000 workers still being paid less than rm1,500 minimum wage
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has reportedly raised concerns over more than 50,000 workers across the country still earning less than the new minimum wage of RM1,500.
The monthly figure for employers with five or more workers was implemented last year under the Minimum Wage Order 2022 and must be paid regardless of the sector or the region.
A large portion of the guilty employers belong to companies carrying out government contracts, New Straits Times cited MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor as saying, although he did not reveal much details on the matter.
He provided an example of an employer from Seremban in Negeri Sembilan who has yet to settle their workers’ arrears since 2019, when the minimum wage in Malaysia used to be RM1,100. But action couldn’t be taken against such employers as when enforcement officers went to the provided address, they couldn’t trace the company.
“We cannot trace the employers because they are from an enterprise, so they can just give any address,” Kamarul was quoted as saying by the English-language newspaper.
He said the majority of employers involved in this case are in the cleaning and servicing industries with government contracts, adding such companies made claims on not being able to meet the minimum wage requirements as the government hasn’t renewed and reviewed their contracts yet.
This resulted in the staff receiving the previous minimum wage of RM1,200, in accordance with the terms of the old contract, the firms claimed.
Kamarul called on the Malaysian government to only award contracts to concession companies – as they exist and therefore, are detectable – so that action could be taken against them for any unnecessary moves.
“Concession companies are larger and they have their own board of directors,” he added.