After ramen chain case, Steven Sim warns employers not to arbitrarily deduct salaries

PUTRAJAYA: Human Resources Minister Steven Sim has issued a warning to all employers not to arbitrarily deduct workers' salaries, unless stipulated under the Employment Act 1955.

He said Section 24 of the Employment Act 1955 stipulates that no deductions can be made by employers from an employee's salary, except those contained within the relevant act.

"I have emphasised that according to Section 24 of the Employment Act 1955, employers cannot deduct an employee's salary, except for deductions allowed such as EPF (Employees Provident Fund) contributions, Socso (Social Security Organisation) and income tax.

"Other than that, employers cannot deduct salaries... no matter what type of shop, or big or small company, you (employers) cannot deduct salaries unless permitted under the Employment Act," he told reporters after attending the Human Resources Ministry Kesuma Madani Chinese New Year Programme, here, today.

Sim was commenting on the issue of a popular ramen restaurant chain in the country allegedly imposing fines on employees, including deducting their salaries, for taking sick leave, going to the restroom and drinking water while on duty.

Yesterday, Sim told the New Straits Times that the restaurant chain could face action following the alleged actions which were said to be contrary to the Employment Act.

He had also urged those affected by such discrimination to come forward and lodge a report with the Labour Department so that further action could be taken.

Sim said that if it was true that the employees involved had disciplinary issues, then these should be handled internally, according to procedures that are allowed by law.

"You cannot deduct salaries just for disciplinary reasons. This is because disciplinary action must go through an internal inquiry process within a company.

"Therefore, I urge anyone with information regarding violations of the Employment Act to come forward and make an official report," he said.

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