Govt will take action on discrimination against job seekers

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PUTRAJAYA (Oct 17): The Government will definitely take action in the event of discrimination by employers against job applicants even though there is no specific law that protects job seekers, said Human Resources Deputy Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

He said the Employment Act 1955 is more focused on safeguarding the interests of those who are working and job seekers have not been included in the statute.

Mahfuz said, although there are parties who expressed fears about discrimination against job seekers, the Ministry has not received any official complaints regarding the matter.

However, he said, job seekers who were discriminated against could make a complaint to the Labour Department for investigation.

"Employers will be reprimanded against committing such acts," he said when asked by reporters about measures to protect job seekers, after attending the Ministerial level Language Week.

For example, Mahfuz said negligence in publishing an advertisement seeking workers who were fluent in Mandarin by a company in Sungai Petani, Kedah, gave the perception that the employers were racists.

Despite no official complaints, he said the Ministry had contacted the employers and was told that the company, which had a majority Malay workers, wanted some workers who were fluent in Mandarin due to business necessities, he said.

"Carelessness in making the advertisement had led to public misinterpretation but after being advised, the company apologised for the mistake,’’ he said.

He also stressed that it was not apt for employers to place conditions to hire workers based on discriminatory issues such as gender, race, religion, pregnancy or wearing clothes which covered parts of body in accordance with Islam.