Delay in review of minimum wage causing hardship for workers, says MTUC

KUALA LUMPUR: The government's delay in reviewing and announcing the new minimum wage is causing hardship for workers.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor said the government should be aware that the announcement of the new minimum wage should be made no later than May 1.

According to the Minimum Wages Act 2012, the minimum wage should be reviewed at least once every two years to ensure that it remains fair and appropriate based on economic conditions and cost of living adjustments.

The current implementation of the RM1,500 minimum wage began on May 1, 2022.

"The ministry should be aware that salaries need to be reviewed every two years. On May 1, it will be exactly two years, and there are no signs that the National Wages Consultative Council will propose a review to the ministry for a salary increase.

"Announcing the review after May 1, which exceeds the two-year period, causes hardship for workers. There are increases in all costs, including goods, taxes, water and electricity.

"These costs need to be balanced with new wage rates. The desires and needs of workers should be understood and met by the government. Do not betray the trust and hope of workers in the government," he said to the New Straits Times.

He added that the government should promptly review and announce the new minimum wage.

"Do not pour salt on the wounds of workers struggling with low wages with the excuse that a review is being conducted or will be conducted, which may take a longer time," he said.

Yesterday, Human Resources Minister Steven Sim said the government will review the minimum wage this year, taking into account the views of both employers and employees.

He said the review would be based on the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011.

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