In 2016, a total of 37,699 workers were terminated in Malaysia. According to the Malaysian Human Resources Ministry, 86.3% (32,552)of terminations reported to the Labour Department (JTK) involved local workers while the remaining 13.7% (5,147)were foreign workers, Bernama reported.

Digging deeper, it found that 14,848 workers (39.4%) were let go of via Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) while 22,851 workers (60.6%) were laid off.

According to the ministry, the hardest hit sectors were the manufacturing sector(45.9%), followed by the wholesale and retail sectors (20.7%), finance and insurance (12.1%), and mining and quarrying (6.6%).

“The termination of workers last year was actually much lower compared to 2015,” said the ministry in a reply to Bernama yesterday when referring to reports quoting the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) as saying that more workers would lose their jobs this year.

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“This was different from the termination in 2015 which was dominated by the financial and insurance sectors (39.8%), followed by manufacturing (20.8%) and transportation and storage sectors (14.7%) followed by the issue of workers’ termination by MAS,” it said.

In 2015, 44,343 workers were affected, whereby, 19,891 workers (44.9%) were through VSS and 24,452 workers (55.1%) via normal termination process.

The ministry added that it was compulsory for employers to inform JTK a month ahead if they wanted to terminate their workers, Bernama reported.

According to the ministry, normally workers were terminated due to closure, excess workers due to restructuring, reduction in output, merger of companies, technological changes and takeover.

In dealing with the issue of termination of workers, the ministry had also set up 1Malaysia Outplacement Center (1MOC) under Pembangunan Sumber Manusia (PSMB) which acted as a one-stop centre for Malaysian workers who were terminated.

Airlines accused of withholding EPF money

In other news, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has alleged that several airlines have failed to submit compulsory contributions to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

According to FMT,  the union said in a press statement yesterday, that even the money these airlines had deducted from their employees’ salaries had not been remitted to the EPF.

It estimated the total amount owed to be at more than RM1 million.

Calling for stern action by the Labour Department and the EPF, Nufam said the airlines’ misconduct was uncovered when workers who had been terminated from employment checked their EPF accounts.

“More than 500 employees are affected, but the authorities have still not taken any action even after complaints were filed,” it said.

“Where is the money that has been cut from the workers’ salaries?”

Nufam said the affected employees included those of Rayani Air and Eaglexpress Charter, which have ceased operations, FMT reported.

“Nufam wants an assurance from the authorities that legal action will be taken immediately against them,” it added.

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