Dept: Employers, employees need to understand Minimum Wages Order
BINTULU: It is vital that employers and their employees understand the Minimum Wages Order 2012, stipulating a minimum monthly wage of RM800 in Sarawak, for it to be implemented smoothly.
State Labour Department director August Buma said under certain circumstances, companies, especially their human resource departments, need to negotiate for the restructuring of wages under Section 10B of the Labour Ordinance (Sarawak Cap 76) with their employees before the order comes into force.
“Meanwhile for employees, they need to keep an open-mind to ensure minimum wages can be implemented and everybody would enjoy the wage restructuring,” he said when met by reporters at the sidelines of the minimum wage implementation briefing at a hotel here yesterday.
However, he said, if both parties came to a deadlock during their negotiation, the Labour Department would be ready to assist them in giving the best advice and options.
On the restructuring process, he said it was done only once before the order came into force and not a continuous process after the date of enforcement.
August reiterated that employers and employees should be open-minded and receptive as well as work together to resolve any problems that might arise.
Bintulu is the fourth and last destination for the three-day roadshow which started simultaneously on Sept 20 in Kuching and Miri, before moving to Sibu on Sept 21.
“Although the roadshow ended here, if some employers need specifics on their own industries, we can go and give them a briefing and help them on how to come out with the restructuring because we want to ensure it is a success,” said August.
He pointed out that the briefing would be an on-going process covering all quarters — from big to small and medium scale industries.
When asked on the response from employers in the state during the roadshows, he said he was slightly impressed with their support and cooperation and hoped to get more constructive feedback from them.
“The response for the briefing was overwhelming. In Kuching, we limited it to 250 but ended up with around 270 people and there are still requests from employers’ association to organise a separate briefing for their members.
“In Miri, we allocated 215 seats but ended up with more than that, and in Sibu more than 200 participants turned up for the briefing,” he added.
Asked on the main issues highlighted by employers during the roadshows, August said they were on the wage restructuring and groups who were entitled for the minimum wage.
“Basically, they do not know whether everybody would earn RM800.
“If I employ him, for example, in construction sector, he is daily rated, let’s say he is paid RM25 per day now and turns up for 10 days — do I have to pay RM800 — this question was asked everywhere.
“Minimum wage of RM800 is for a monthly rated employee who works according to his contract of employment. If he works half a month, how can he be entitled to RM800?” he said.