The two migrant domestic workers organizations issue a joint May Day statement in response to the announcement of the Ministry of Human Resource (MoHR) in Malaysia to extend social security coverage to domestic workers. Yet, concrete
Roll down untuk pernyataan dalam Bahasa Indonesia
Celebrating International Labor Day –
Ensure the inclusion on Social Security for Migrant Domestic Workers in Malaysia
(In response to the statement by the Ministry of Human Resources on the extension of social security coverage for domestic workers in Malaysia)
Malaysia is a destination country of about 103,197 migrant domestic workers, based on MyImms data in February 2021. According to Malaysia’s “Employment Act of 1955”, domestic workers are categorized as “domestic servants”. This implies that the fundamental rights of domestic workers such as working hours, minimum wages, day off, annual leave, as well as social security are not guaranteed. The nature of domestic work is often characterised as labour-intensive, as work demands are given anytime and physically exhausting; and, it is isolated as workers are living in private, individual homes more often without a regular weekly day-off. This puts domestic workers away from access to justice in dealing with any issues of rights violations, gender-based violence and human trafficking. Lack of institutionalised monitoring in the household sector has put migrant domestic workers in a more vulnerable and exploited situation.
Let it be known that before, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic workers have always been in the forefront providing essential household services. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, systematic evidences have shown that many migrant domestic workers suffered from lack of food, no day off, salaries are not paid, no adequate medical assistance, and some even lost their jobs. The cleaning and caring work carried out by domestic workers also made them more vulnerable to contracting / getting infected with the COVID-19 virus, in addition to the lack of health and safety equipment availability during the pandemic. The Employees Social Security Act 1969 excluded domestic workers as beneficiaries, although the working environment in this sector is at high risk from experiencing health and safety problems. Several cases even show that many migrant domestic workers return to their home countries with disability, or death, without any access to a complaint or compensation mechanism.
On April 20th, 2021, the Minister of Human Resources, Savaranan Murugan, announced that social security under “Employees Social Security Act 1969 and Employment Insurance System Act 2017” will be extended to domestic workers as of June 1st, 2021. This policy is targeted to reach 104,000 domestic workers, including migrant domestic workers. In response to the Minister’s statement, The Association of Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers (PERTIMIG) and Asosasyon ng mga Makabayang Manggagawang Pilipino Overseas (AMMPO) in Malaysia welcome the move of the Malaysian government in its efforts to protect domestic workers in particular.
And, to coincide with the commemoration of International Labor Day 2021, we, the association of migrant domestic workers, would like to present our concerns to the Malaysian Government:
- A concrete protection to be spelt out in the amendment of the Employment Act 1955, by amending the category of “domestic servant” to “domestic worker”, to follow closely what is enshrined in the ILO Convention 189 on decent work so that domestic workers can enjoy their basic rights to minimum wages, working hours, day off, leave, health and social security;
- Ensure that the extension of social security benefits to domestic workers is under the law (not just regulation), and that social security components comply with the standards of ILO Convention 189. The “Employees Social Security Act 1969 and Employment Insurance System Act 2017” must provide an inclusion for all domestic workers, local and migrant;
- Create a specific regulation on the social security enforcement system for domestic workers, types of protection and benefits, premium arrangement and premium payment responsibilities, as well as claim mechanisms;
- Involvement of domestic worker groups in further discussions on the implementation of social security programs and information dissemination;
- Ratify ILO C189 on decent work for domestic workers and ILO C190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work;
Persatuan Pekerja Rumah Tangga Indonesia Migran (PERTIMIG)
Email: [email protected]
Asosasyon ng mga Makabayang Manggagawang Pilipino Overseas (AMMPO)
Source: AMMPO Malaysia and PERTIMIG Malaysia