The government has extended the freeze on foreign and domestic workers intake until the end of the year.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that private employment agencies registered with the Ministry of Human Resources should not make any remarks or advertisements that mislead employers on the entry of foreign workers and maids into the country.
"I would like to remind employers that there is no entry of foreign workers into the country, including foreign maids from source countries, since the movement control implementation on March 18, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Consequently, the government has determined that there will be no entry of both categories of foreign workers until December 31, 2021," he said in a statement.
The foreign worker recruitment freeze started in June 2020.
The minister said the government would announce any decision to bring in foreign workers, including foreign maids, after discussions with Human Resources Ministry, National Security Council, Health Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, and other relevant ministries.
In May, Saravanan said that before the movement control implementation last year, 1.7 million registered foreign workers were recorded. The number continued to decrease after about 500,000 foreign workers returned to their countries of origin.
More on the freeze of foreign worker intake
On June 22, 2020, the minister announced the ministry's decision to suspend foreign workers' intake until the end of this year to increase employment opportunities for Malaysians. But, several private employment agencies responded to that announcement by urging the ministry to review the decision.
In July 2020, the Human Resources Ministry announced that the government had allowed only three sectors to hire foreign workers. The three areas were the construction, plantation and agriculture sectors. The restriction aims to cut the nation's dependence on foreign workers.
In August 2020, Saravanan stated that employers are permitted to rehire retrenched foreign workers. Still, they must give priority to Malaysian workers in filling job vacancies.
He said employers could also rehire foreign workers in industries that have not received encouraging responses from Malaysian workers. But, the rehiring of foreign workers is subject to specific conditions.
In a statement, Saravanan said that only foreign workers still in Malaysia, with valid work permits, can be rehired in the same industry they have worked in before. The minister said employers should also ensure that the foreign workers they want to re-employ have undergone Covid-19 screening.
Source: The Edge Markets
Articles that might interest you
What You Need to Know About Program Subsidi Upah (PSU) 4.0
What You Need to Know About EPF's i-Saraan
EPF Launches Two Initiatives to Help Employers Manage Cash Flow