Saturday, August 06, 2005

Malaysia issues new rules on foreign workers, says DOLE

First posted 04:40pm (Mla time)
Aug 06, 2005

MALAYSIA has implemented new rules on hiring foreign workers that would facilitate the employment and ensure the protection of overseas Filipino workers there, Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas said in a statement.

The labor secretary said the new rules, which took effect August 1, simplified the process that recruitment agencies undertake to get approval for the deployment of foreign workers to Malaysia.

“The new rules also mean that Malaysia’s economy is in need of more foreign workers who should be protected to sustain its growth,” Sto. Tomas said as she called on Filipino returnees from Malaysia to take advantage of the new rules to facilitate their return and employment in Malaysia on legal status.

It would be recalled that Malaysia earlier this year initiated a crackdown on illegal foreign workers. Following this, the labor department set up one-step processing centers in Zamboanga City and Bongao, Tawi-tawi to facilitate the acquisition of legal documents for the returnees’ re-employment in Malaysia.

At the same time, Sto. Tomas said the new rules now require that salaries of domestic workers for the first six months will now be paid directly to them. Prior to the new rules, employers remit the first six months salaries to the recruitment agencies.

The labor secretary also warned prospective OFWs to Malaysia to be wary of recruitment agencies charging fees more than 2,500 Malaysian ringgits (about 37,000 pesos), the cap on recruitment fees for foreign domestic workers that Malaysian authorities made.

She added that a worker who still doesn’t have a job upon arrival in Malaysia is also required by the new Malaysian rules to be provided with housing and a minimum wage by the agency that recruited her.

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