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MEF: Worker shortage resulting in loss of billions in revenue

MEF: Worker shortage resulting in loss of billions in revenue

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2022, 1:26 PM MYT By IYLIA MARSYA ISKANDAR

PETALING JAYA: Employers in multiple sectors are facing operational problems due to worker shortage, with some sectors facing loss of revenue of up to billions, says the Malaysian Employers Federation.

Its President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman (pic) said addressing the shortage of manpower was vital for the recovery of the industries, as the arrival of about 47,000 foreign workers was far below the shortage of 1.2 million workers faced by industries.

“The shortage of workers has caused operational problems to businesses.

“Some businesses in the manufacturing sector had to turn down new orders for fear of not being able to meet the deadlines.

“The construction sector in the country is facing a serious shortage of workers, causing some major construction projects to fall behind schedule.

“Construction companies had to bear penalties for late deliveries.

“Restaurants and other eateries were being bombarded with complaints from customers for slow services and hotels were also being criticised for not being able to check in the guests on time due to rooms being not ready,” adds Datuk Dr Syed Hussain.

Meanwhile, the plantation sector, particularly palm oil plantations, were facing acute worker shortage, continuing to result in loss of revenue for planters of more than RM32bil and government income was also affected due to loss in palm oil yield, he said.

The electrical and electronic industry, he added, followed suit as supply chain and business operations were disrupted resulting in delays and inability to meet new orders from both local and foreign buyers.

On Monday (Aug 29), Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the amended Employment Act had been postponed to give employers more time to address their worker shortage.

The Employment Act was amended to allow for, among others, the extension of maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days, seven days paternity leave, and reduced weekly working hours from 48 to 45 hours.

Initially scheduled to be implemented on Sept 1, this had since been deferred to Jan 1 next year.

“Addressing the shortage of manpower is vital for the recovery of the industries.

“Granting some space is critical for industries to resolve the manpower shortages.

“Such a decision by the Minister of Human Resources will further boost investors’ confidence both local and foreign investors and to maintain competitiveness,” Syed Hussain added.

Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association (PKBM) president Datuk Azman Yusoff suggested further postponement to the implementation of the amended Employment Act and proposed it for July 31, 2023.

This is due to the shortage of workers in the construction industry and the low productivity from which have caused projects to be delayed, he said.

“Not all industries would be suited to follow what was suggested.

“Right now the concern is to bring in more foreign workers with the utmost urgency by allowing shorter and more effective processes rather than to be charged with high agency fees,” he said.

Azman also suggested for the government to allow for the legalisation of workers that were already here in Malaysia which would be a fast track solution for the construction industry.

Earlier, The Star reported that as we enter the fourth quarter of the year, the workers shortage issue remains a Gordian knot that cannot be cut.

Business groups said productivity is down by up to 50% and companies are afraid to accept orders.

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/08/30/mef-worker-shortage-resulting-in-loss-of-billions-in-revenue

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