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Nine labour laws to be reviewed by 2017

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A total of nine labour laws will have to be reviewed by next year after Malaysia became a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The laws and regulations are the Private Employment Agencies Act (1981); Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act (1966); Worker's Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act (1990); Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994); Employment Act (1955); Labour Ordinance (Sabah); Labour Ordinance (Sarawak); Industrial Relations Act (1967); and Trade Unions Act (1959).

The Human Resources Ministry principal assistant secretary (labour policy branch), K Kesavan, said the move to amend the legislation and regulations was to ensure that Malaysia was complying with the terms in the Labour Chapter of TPPA.

He said that more than 30 provisions would be amended and the ministry was planning to bring all the amendments to Parliament in stages by April 2017.

TPPA will be implemented in two years' time.

Kesavan was presenting a paper titled 'Labour chapter and proposed legislative enactments and amendments to Trade Union Act to give effect to TPPA" at a seminar on 'How TPPA relates to workers and Malaysians'.

The seminar was organised by the Federation of Trade Unions of Employees in Banking and Financial Institutions (FEBFI).

Kesavan said that two strategies would be formulated to ensure the implementation of the Labour Chapter of TPPA would be done effectively.

"The first is to adopt and the second to monitor," he said, adding that the first involves amending the legislation and regulations in line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) 'Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and its follow-up'.

"The second involves enforcement and monitoring," he said, adding that the government hoped that amendments to the respective legislation and regulations would bring improvement to the labour standards in line with international instruments.

Meanwhile, FEBFI secretary-general J Solomon urged its members to fully utilise opportunities that were available to understand the benefits of the TPPA.

He said that based on what had transpired so far, TPPA was going to form a very important aspect in workers' life.

“It is important to have a better understanding so that we could deliberate with our members accordingly about what they are expected to do and the effects of the TPPA on Malaysian workers," Solomon said.

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