The status of contract staff is at risk, needs to be reviewed

PUTRAJAYA: The government needs to re-evaluate the maximum period of contract workers because most of them will be thrown away before enough time is set.

The matter was voiced by the former acting President of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid who is worried about the current trend.

According to him, many may not know, the maximum period of contract level staff is only 15 years and after that they must be absorbed as permanent employees.

Ignorance of knowledge about labor law rights, he said, will cause them to be terminated by the employer before the maximum time is up.

Earlier, he was present to hand over the ‘Appeal for a Mouthful of Rice’ letter directly to the Prime Minister’s Senior Political Secretary, Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md. Akin here following the termination of a total of 958 Inland Revenue Board (IRB) contract workers on December 31 last after the union’s last negotiations failed.

Commenting further, Abdullah Sani opined that if a temporary employee has served without any disciplinary problems for more than five years, he should be made a permanent employee.

“I have raised this issue in Parliament because there was an experience at MTUC in the past which showed that many contract workers were dismissed after 10 years of work,” he said.

The former Member of Parliament for Kuala Langat even said in an honest tone that the temporary staff is much better and has a lot of experience and does not need to be trained compared to permanent employees.

Unfortunately, he said he was a bit sorry, they would usually be fired before the end of the 15-year period because the employer tried to avoid wanting to be absorbed as a permanent employee.

He gave an example of what happened at the IRB when someone who had been on the job for over 18 years was not changed to a permanent status but new employees were hired.

The situation resulted in injustice to contract staff who were loyal and disciplined for their employer tirelessly despite not having the same privileges as permanent employees.

The scenario that happened at LHDN should be used as a lesson because he sympathized with the plight of the contract staff who worked hard without annual leave and sick leave.

“God willing, as Chairman of the PKR Workers’ Bureau, I will bring this issue directly to the president during the party meeting so that it can be fought for in Parliament,” he stressed.

The move, he explained, is expected to involve an amendment to the Work Act 1955 with the terms of the maximum period being improved and possibly shorter to defend the fate of workers.

At the same time, the labor law may be improved with the terms of employees who do not have disciplinary issues should be prioritized by the employer to be absorbed as permanent. – MESSENGER

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