Thursday, May 17, 2007

Investigate Workers' Sexual Harassment Complaints, Govt Warns Employers. Act On Foul-Mouthed MPs First.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn, may have been an erudite academician but his sense of timing is a joke. Just when we had witnessed how more than a week after the harassment of a lady Member of Parliament by vulgar, foul-mouthed men with the title MP, there has been no action at all, this warning to employers serves to make a mockery of the government's position. Read the NST report here and shake your heads in disgust at the double standard being applied:
Employers who fail to investigate their workers’ sexual harassment complaints can be slapped with a RM10,000 fine under amendments to the Employment Act 1955. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said the amendments put the onus on employers to ensure that their workplace was safe and a system was in place to handle sexual harassment complaints and conduct internal inquiries. He said workers whose complaints of harassment were not taken up by their employers could lodge a report with the ministry.

"Employers will be responsible for investigating sexual harassment complaints. The amendments give legal backing to our code of ethics against sexual harassment, which was not as well-received by companies as we had hoped for," Fong said yesterday after his ministry’s post-cabinet meeting.

The Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace was launched by the ministry in 1999. To date, only 1,225 companies have endorsed the code. Fong said the amendments had been approved by employers and employees through their representatives at the National Labour Action Council meetings.

The final draft of the amendments was submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers three months ago. The amendments only punish employers and not the sexual offenders, who will be dealt with separately under the Penal Code.

Fong said the amendments were aimed at increasing productivity and giving workers, especially those in the lower ranks, the confidence. "They no longer need to be fearful," Fong said.

Other parts of the amendments include the appointment of sexual harassment officers by employers to investigate complaints and to make recommendations for further action.

Prior to this, the ministry had no power to compel employers to take action on sexual harassment complaints. Fong also announced the setting up of a commission of inquiry to investigate disputes on wages and working hours in the hotel industry. The commission has six months to question hotel employers, employees and other industry stakeholders before recommending whether a wage council for hotel workers should be convened.

***** Why not go the whole hog and appoint the two monkeys Bung Moktar Radin and Mohd Said Yusuf to a commission of inquiry for sexual harassment? At least it will show that the government is open in its willful neglect of womens' rights!

Image - Source
Update: MEF Opposes Proposed Amendments To Employment Act

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on with your remarks. U hit the damn nail on the head! We, the real employers (voters) should be warning the BN government instead. In other countries, the type of govenance under this shameless government, the entire Cabinet and including the PM should have resigned! The BN should get its own internal house in order before warning private employers. What type of leadership is this, the August House of legislators, of all people. This BN under the current PM has brought nothing...but SHAME to this country while the world watches. Celebrating your 50th anniversary with no pride!! So stop the damn propaganda. Yes, we are proud of Tunku Abdul Rahman's leadership. But NOT now! When you claim previous leadership as credit to your own especially when you sickeningly lack, the Chinese says: "It's like claiming people's backside to be skin of your face!" Shame.....

12:09 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous apolitical said...

can we report the 2 MPs to their employers and then take action against them (the employers) if nothing is done? Maybe we (the voters) will get fined.

2:27 PM GMT+8  

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