Govt: We’ll listen to views on dress code for Muslim workers

The government says the dress code guidelines for Muslim workers in the private sector are important to address instances of workplace discrimination.

PUTRAJAYA: The human resources ministry today said it will take into account views from the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) before it implements dress code guidelines for Muslim workers in the private sector.

It said the guidelines will first be presented at a meeting of the NLAC before the final draft is completed.

The ministry said that as a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Malaysia will take into account views from the NLAC on matters involving human resource policies.

The guidelines will only apply to Muslim workers in the private sector and their formulation is important to address possible instances of workplace discrimination, Bernama quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

“The final draft is currently being finalised towards its implementation.

“However, if an employer compels employees to wear clothing contrary to their religious beliefs, complaints about this matter may be forwarded to the Labour Department,” the ministry said.

In August last year, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, announced in the Dewan Rakyat that the government was working on a dress code for women workers in the private sector.

His announcement drew criticism from certain groups, including the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), which said the government should not be policing what women wear.

Earlier, a report that certain hotels prohibited frontline staff from wearing headscarves had sparked controversy, leading to groups calling for a boycott of the hotels.

Following this, the Malaysian Associations of Hotels explained that some international hotels enforce a uniform policy for frontline staff.

The government later said the hotels had agreed to lift the ban.