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Jan 3, 2019

Employers told to heed Minimum Wages Order 2018

Picture for representational purpose only.

KUCHING: Employers are urged to abide by the Minimum Wages Order (Amendment) 2018, which is effective from yesterday.,

Sarawak Manpower Department director, Awang Raduan Awang Omar who made the call, said employers who failed to pay their employees basic salary as stipulated in the order, were committing an offence and could be fined up to RM10,000 per employee, if found guilty.

He said the court could also order the employer involved to pay the difference between the minimum wage and the basic wage it paid its workers, and make other accrued payments calculated based on the minimum wage.

“For a continued offence, a daily fine not exceeding RM1,000 could be imposed, while a repeated offence carries a fine of up to RM20,000 or a jail term of up to five years,” he warned at a news conference, here, today.

The Minimum Wages Order (Amendment) 2018 came into effect on Jan 1, 2019, providing for a minimum wage set at RM1,100 per month or at RM5.29 per hour for those workers paid at the hourly rate.

Before the new order came into force, the Minimum Wages Order 2016 provided for a minimum wage at RM1,000 per month in Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 per month in Sabah, Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan.

“This order is applicable for workers in all sectors and businesses, but not applicable for domestic maids as defined under Section 2 of the Sarawak Labour Ordinance, Chapter 76.

“Under the amended order, the minimum wage is the basic wage paid by employers and does not include other payments in cash made by employers for work done by the employees under the service contract,” Awang Raduan said.

He said based on the record, the Sarawak Manpower Department had opened 76 investigation papers since 2015 to investigate employers who failed to pay the minimum wage to their workers, with 25 of the cases brought to court and 20 charged, while 30 cases were disposed of and the remaining 21 still under investigation.

The total fines imposed on employers who failed to adhere to the minimum wage order amounted to RM135,591.

Awang Raduan said the new minimum wage order also applied to 139,000 foreign workers in the plantation sector and registered with the Sarawak Manpower Department. They are mostly from Indonesia, numbering 129,733, China (4,770), Myanmar (1,620), India (1,055) and Philippines (849). — Bernama

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