Multi-tier foreign worker levy system to begin January next year

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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 28): The joint committee between the Home Ministry and Human Resource Ministry today announced that the multi-tier levy system for foreign workers will begin on Jan 1, 2020.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the implementation will take into account aspects of data integration as well the readiness of the Government and employers under the formal sector, particularly agriculture and manufacturing.

In the manufacturing sector, Muhyiddin however said that the foreign workers dependency ratio for the multi-tier levy mechanism was only allowed up to 75 per cent.

"In this case, a committee will be set up to assess the needs of the employers or companies in the manufacturing sector which hire foreign workers beyond the allowed ratio on a case-by-case basis.

"This is to ensure that the company's operations are not affected," he said after chairing the meeting with Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran here.

Muhyiddin said employers would be informed on the levy system before it being implemented.

"Each level has a different levy. All proposals for the amount of levy have been included in the Foreign Workers' Management Independent Committee's report. We cannot disclose it now because the report must get approval from the Cabinet," he said.

Muhyiddin said the committee also agreed that cooks, kitchen assistants and waiters were allowed to be employed in the restaurant sub-sector.

From Jan 1 to Feb 20, the Immigration Department conducted 2,182 enforcement operations and arrested 148 employers and 7,747 illegal immigrants, he said.

"About 244 employers have been prosecuted between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2018. In addition, 316 employers were imposed compound fines.

"The Labour Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) has also issued notices to 4,677 employers who failed to comply with the Employment Act 1955," he said.