KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — The government is holding engagement sessions with employers on the RM1,500 minimum wage to enable it to be implemented holistically, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said for this purpose, the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) is holding discussions with unions, including with the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs), and employers.
“We are undertaking engagement with all employers on this minimum wage because there are companies that can afford it but also companies that are too small and can’t. We are afraid that if they can’t afford it, they will retrench workers… which will add to unemployment numbers.”
“We are not protecting employers, our interest is employees… if employees’ minimum wage can be raised to RM1,500, that is for the best,” he told reporters after launching the JaminKerja Keluarga Malaysia initiative and JaminKerja Keluarga Malaysia Career Carnival 2022 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here today.
He said the MOHR would present the findings of the engagement sessions to the Cabinet before the new minimum wage was approved.
The Prime Minister said the government was concerned about the cost of living now, but at the same time did not want Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs to face difficulties regarding the implementation of the new minimum wage.
“Our aim is to help employees, but eventually they may be laid off because employers cannot afford to pay their salaries … so we will look at the overall considerations, the interests of employees and at the same time we want to hear the views of employers,” he said.
Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan recently told the media that a new minimum wage of RM1,500 is expected to be implemented by year-end.
The current minimum wage is RM1,200.