PUTRAJAYA: The government will issue guidelines aimed at eliminating forced labour at workplaces to tackle the long-standing issue, human resources minister V Sivakumar said.
Sivakumar said the guidelines are a result of collaborative efforts led by the peninsular labour department under the national action plan on forced labour.
“The guidelines were developed for all organisations to understand the definition of forced labour, to know its indicators in detail and the related laws and regulations, and to take specified measures against forced labour at the workplace,” he said at an event in Putrajaya today.
On measures his ministry has taken so far, Sivakumar said it has opened 1,321 investigation papers through the labour department against 645 employers.
He said 128 employers have been fined a total of RM242,000, while 272 others have been issued compound notices totalling RM2.17 million.
Sivakumar reiterated the ministry’s commitment to enhance enforcement efforts despite facing constraints, including resource limitations.
He said there are plans to increase the number of labour inspectors in labour departments throughout the country.
He also pointed out that the amendments to the Employment Act 1955, which came into force in January, provided penalties against employers who commit forced labour offences, among others.