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SMEs may defer minimum wages for foreign workers until Dec 31

28 March 2013 - New Straits Times. Employers in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been allowed to defer the implementation of minimum wages for their foreign workers.

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been allowed to defer the implementation of minimum wages for their foreign workers.

Employers in the sector have been permitted to defer it until Dec 31, said a statement from the National Wages Consultative Council yesterday.

Employers in sectors, excluding SMEs, who are facing difficulties implementing minimum wages may opt for deferment by submitting their applications to the council in Putrajaya by June 30.

"It is hereby announced that the government's decision to give deferment for foreign workers in SMEs is to be in force from the date of the amendment of the order," the council said.

It added that employers who have been given deferment were not allowed to make deductions from the foreign workers' wages for levy, cost of accommodation or other allowances.

On employers implementing minimum wages for foreign workers, the council said they would be given blanket approval for deductions of levy and cost of accommodation.

The amount of levy to be deducted is the amount on a pro-rated monthly basis and the amount of deduction shall not exceed RM50 a month for each foreign worker, it added.

"Both the deductions need to be notified to the nearest Labour Department via email or letter," the council said.

However, in special circumstances, based on individual merits, the Labour Department may consider applications for cost of accommodation exceeding RM50 a month for each foreign worker, it said.

The statement also said that the deferment did not affect Malaysian workers and employers would have to pay them the minimum wage as per the order.

The Minimum Wages Order 2012, which took effect on Jan 1, requires employers with six employees and above to pay a minimum wage of RM900 a month in the peninsula or RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/smes-may-defer-minimum-wages-for-foreign-workers-until-dec-31-1.238218?localLinksEnabled=false

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