Be thorough with applications, HR Minister advises employers seeking foreign workers for 3 sub sectors

Human Resources Minister V.Sivakumar announcing the terms for engaging foreign workers for the subsectors of goldsmiths, barbers and textiles.

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 21: Employers seeking to get foreign workers under the three subsectors of barbers, goldsmiths, and textiles workers were today advised by Human Resources, Minister V.Sivakumar, to be thorough with their applications, as no appeals will be entertained if their applications are rejected.

A quota of 7,500 foreign workers has been allocated to the three subsectors following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement of a partial opening in September this year after a freeze on foreign workers intake for the sectors in 2009.

Speaking at a press conference in his ministry here today, Sivakumar said the mechanisms and processes for the foreign workers employment were agreed upon after discussions with the Home Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.

He said the quota of 7,500 foreign workers would cover those already in employment in the three subsectors as recorded under the Immigration Department as well as new workers.

The length of employment would remain as under the current policy, which will be 10 years plus 3 and for those already in employment, their term will be according to the remaining years they have in service.

He said employers must ensure that they make their applications according to the requirements as set out by the ministry (Details of the requirements will be also published in the ministry’s website and social media sites).

Applications must be made by the employers who are registered with Indian trade associations, he said.

Employers who qualify for foreign workers are those operating and with existing premises and must have received approval from the Labour Department under Section 60K under the Employment Act 1955.

Sivakumar also listed out the number of workers the employers in the three subsectors can apply for.

In the goldsmiths and textiles sectors, for an operations space of 1,000 m sq, the employers can apply for 15 percent foreign workers from their total number of workers. For those with an operations space of more than 200 sq m but less than 999 sq m, they can employ from 3 to 4 workers while those with a space of no more than 199 m sq, they can employ 2 foreign workers.

In the barbers sector, for every 1 local worker, they can employ 2 foreign workers. The operators must also have a Malaysian skills certificate.

The trade associations can send in their list of new foreign workers applications from Oct 10 and applications will be taken in till the quota of 7,500 is fulfilled. For the employed foreign workers, the employers can apply for the renewals of their workers’ temporary work pass from Oct 10 as well.

Announcing the processes and criteria for applications, which will be also made available on the ministry’s website, and social media sites as well as in the labour department website, Sivakumar also reminded employers of the regulations regarding foreign workers including the preparation of workers’ quarters, providing the minimum wages and SOCSO contributions.

Engaging the foreign workers must also be through licensed employment agencies listed under the Labour Department and the same would apply to the agents in the country they are sourcing for the workers.

In line with the prime minister’s call to give priority to local workers, Sivakumar also reiterated the need for employers to ensure the training of local workers in their respective trades, with the aim of reducing dependency on foreign workers.

— WE