Malaysia sees more protection for workers’ rights take effect in January

Employers or employees may now be represented by any person of their choice, excluding lawyers, during dispute processes.
By: | January 7, 2021

The amended regulation to improve the protection of workers’ rights in Malaysia has taken effect in January. 

The Industrial Relations Act 1967 (Act 177) was amended in December last year, which include key changes such as repealing the human resource minister’s power to refer representations on dismissal cases to the Industrial Court, which has now been awarded instead to the Director-General for Industrial Relations. 

During a dispute process at the Department of Industrial Relations, employers or employees may now also be represented by any person of their choice, excluding lawyers. 

“Beginning January 1, 2021, in addition to procedures related to promotion, trade unions can also negotiate about general issues related to the exchange, recruitment, termination of services due to labour surplus, dismissal and reinstatement as well as distribution of tasks”, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, according to Bernama. 

“The punishment of imprisonment for illegal picketing and strikes have been abolished in line with international labour standards,” he added. 

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Further information on the amended act will be available on the websites of the Human Resources Ministry and the Industrial Relations Department in the near future.