Cases of ‘creative accounting’ to meet RM1,500 policy

PETALING JAYA: Instances of companies cutting workers’ allowances and using this to increase their basic salary has caught the eye of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).

Its president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani said it had received complaints that bosses were employing such tactics in order to meet the new national minimum wage of RM1,500.

“There are employers making cuts to workers’ benefits and then adding it to their salaries so that they can meet the new requirement, but this is wrong.

“Some companies are still not abiding by the new minimum wage although the criteria set by the government is clear,” he said when contacted.

While some businesses said the new RM1,500 minimum wage contributed to a 25% increase in monthly operating costs, Mohd Effendy said the workers’ rights must be granted “as the new minimum wage has been put in place”.

“By right, the minimum wage should have been increased some time ago,” he said.

On some employers asking for the minimum wage rule to be deferred, Mohd Effendy said the announcement had already been made by the government and employers had no choice but to comply.

“Implementing the new minimum wage on May 1 for me is already late enough, and a further postponement is not appropriate,” he said.

Mohd Effendy urged those working for bosses who defied the minimum wage rule to make official complaints through the Human Resources Ministry’s Working for Workers (WfW) digital channel so that action can be taken.

The government set up the WfW complaint channel to ensure that workers’ privacy would be protected when they report errant employers, he added.

On July 26, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob expressed disappointment over the salary range offered to local employees and urged employers to take the minimum wage requirement seriously.

He said as at July 1, statistics from the government’s MyFutureJobs portal showed that the monthly salary range of most job offers nationwide was between RM1,200 and RM2,000.

Ismail Sabri said he was somewhat disappointed as the salaries offered by the employers were not commensurate with the qualifications and job scope of the local workforce.