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Move to accredit HR practitioners in Malaysia in the works: Minister Kula Segaran

Speaking at the Labour Law Conference 2019 this morning (11 June), YB Kula Segaran, Malaysia's Minister of Human Resources revealed that the Ministry is working on a one-of-a-kind act for human resource practitioners aimed at accrediting and training HR professionals.

Currently the plan is in the stage of gathering information from stakeholders.

Speaking at Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Minister Kula Segaran cited plans to bring the ILMIA Research Centre, which falls under the HR Ministry, to international standards in order to position it as "the single source for accreditations".

For those who are already in HR, he clarified: "We will make it as flexible as possible, we will make necessary exemptions for those that are already practicing."

The reason for this act stems from the fact that for HR practitioners appearing in the Industrial Court and the Labour Court, the emphasis must be on them being "properly trained, properly accredited".

Among the new initiatives he unveiled in his speech was also related to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, where the Ministry is looking at an act for the institute to look after trainers in the country in a professional manner.

These changes are over and above the five already-announced amendments that are due, namely:

  1. Employment Act
  2. Trades Union Act
  3. Industrial Relations Act
  4. Minimum Standard of Housing and Amenities Act
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Act
On this, he said: "With all these changes, it is going to be challenging. Out of the five amendments, hopefully we can get two or three (discussed) in the coming sitting," referring to the next session of Parliament being held from 1 July 2019 - 18 July 2019.

He added: "We hope we can get the government approval, I'm on the last stage on the move to get paternity leave (three days), to reduce the number of working hours, and to increase the maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days."

Further labour initiatives the Ministry is working on

Minister Kula Segaran noted how long it has taken to settle some labour cases on issues such as termination, including some which he has litigated as a lawyer, thus he took up the issue of the Appeals Court.

"The whole idea is to speed up the process which will create a win-win situation for both employers and employees involved. Hopefully the appellate can dispose off all cases within three months, and within a year everything would be completed."

He noted that he is to hold at least two National Labour Advisory Council meetings every year, yet this year he has already had five such meetings.

Another topic for discussion is the labour court presiding officers. Presently, the practice is to have in-house presiding officers. "But in order to enhance the image of the labour court and its strength, I have proposed that we should have ad-hoc appointments from senior lawyers or retired judges to sit as presiding officers of the labour court."

On the same topic, currently the quantum to bring a case to the Labour Court is RM 2000 and below; however, the Ministry is planning to make this unlimited, thus covering many more people under the labour amendment that it is planning to bring about, subject to capital approval.

Movement on IR 4.0

"IR 4.0 - whether we like it or not it is on our doorstep," Minister Kula Segaran affirmed. As such, the Ministry is pushing technical institutes to focus more technical/vocational training than getting students to universities, which is more of pure academics and might not be so relevant in IR 4.0.

For this push, he cited the case of the profession of doctors who are caught in a quandary with some of them not having got jobs for up to two years.

Photo / Minister Kula Segaran's Facebook

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