Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the Deputy Home Minister introduced strict liability programme for employers hiring foreign workers in Malaysia. They will be responsible for employee wellbeing right from day one of their employment.
The move to introduce this programme was made owing to the lack of concern attitude shown by some employers towards employee welfare in the country. The focus of this programme would be on providing housing facilities and meeting healthcare needs of the employees.
Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said at a press conference, “In Singapore, employers or companies hiring foreigners have to provide accommodation or hostels for them but not in Malaysia.” He acknowledged there were cases of employers renting houses from locals at housing estates and turning them into hostels for their foreign employees.
“This has created uneasiness among locals with the presence of foreign workers living in their neighbourhood,” Nur Jazlan told to The Star, Malaysia. It is required by employers to ensure that their foreign employees possess health insurance to enable them to seek treatment at hospitals.
It has been observed that employers were making profits from the hiring of foreign workers but refused to spend in looking after their welfare. This program would help maintain a check on employer hiring of illegal foreign workers since the programme of rehiring of illegal workforce was implemented this year.
“The government is currently discussing the matter with relevant employer’s federations and associations. This has been going on for a while, but many employers are not keen on the programme,” said Nur Jazlan, reports New Straits Times Malaysia.
“With Hari Raya just around the corner, the exodus of foreign workers leaving the country will surely increase. But the immigrants will come back after that, so that is why it is necessary to force employers to take more responsibility for their workers.”
The strict liability programme would also be one of the ways of keeping the immigrant economy in check. Under the programme, employers would have to provide accommodation for their workers and provide adequate insurance and medical benefits.