Baldoz lauds Malaysian effort to protect HSWs

Date Posted: August 11th, 2014 01:00 AM


Baldoz lauds Malaysian effort to protect HSWs Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded efforts of Malaysian authorities to protect and provide for the welfare of household service workers by drafting impartial terms and conditions governing the implementation of its Employment Regulations for Domestic Servants. “I commend the move of Malaysian authorities to provide crucial protection to all household domestic workers, including our own,” said Baldoz. Citing a report from OIC-Director Saul T. De Vries of the International Labor Affairs Bureau, she said that the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources, through the Bar Council of Malaysia’s Migrants, Refugees, and Immigration Affairs Committee, convened last month with stakeholders to gather views and recommendations on the draft. Representatives from various missions of labor countries, employers’ associations, workers group, and non-government organizations attended the meeting with Ministry officials. Saying the move is a positive development, Baldoz said any positive change will benefit the 7,951 Filipino household service workers deployed in Malaysia in 2013 and the 1,412 OFWs deployed in Sabah. According to De Vries’ report, the stakeholders recommended the removal of the provisions in the existing Act which have excluded household service workers from core labor rights protection, thus, rendering them vulnerable to exploitation by employers. They also suggested that the Draft Employment Regulations be translated into a Unified Standard Contract which would be recognized by all stakeholders. The standard contract will thus contain provisions on key labor rights to protect household service workers. Currently, there is no minimum salary for household service workers in Malaysia. Their wages are determined by market forces. “Since employment terms are subject to agreement between employers and workers which are not on equal footing, the latter can be placed in a disadvantageous position during a negotiating process. Often, this results in HSWs getting unpaid or underpaid, working long working hours, and being deprived of rest days, among others,” said De Vries in his report. Baldoz expressed the view that the efforts of Malaysian authorities may be taken by the DOLE as a signal to further strengthen bilateral labor cooperation between Malaysia and the Philippines. She directed Labor Attache to Malaysia Beth Estrada to continue to monitor this development and report if the Unified Employment Contract suggested by the stakeholders during the meeting is similar to the Unified Employment Contract agreed by Saudi Arabia and the Philippines under its agreement on the deployment of household service workers. "This Unified Employment Contract for HSWs is a model which other countries wanting to hire Filipino HSWs should look into and emulate," said Baldoz. In 2010, the Philippines transmitted to Malaysian authorities a draft Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation following the meeting between officials of the Philippine Embassy and Malaysia’s Human Resource Minister Datuk Dr. Subramaniam. End/letmaring

Created Aug 26th 2014, 15:05


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