21 September, 2003
Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has urged employers in the State to pay allowance to their workers who worked on the public holiday on Wednesday although it is not a gazetted holiday.
At the same time, it also urged the employers not to deduct the salary of those workers who did not turn up for work on that day.
In making the call Saturday, MUTC Sabah Branch Secretary Catherine Jikunan said this is the way for employers to show their appreciation to those who worked on that day.
She said under the Sabah Labour Ordinance (SLO), employers have the right not to pay overtime or allowance to workers working on a non-gazetted holiday like Wednesday, but they should consider their workers’ contributions and establish good working relations with them (workers) so as to enhance productivity.
She said inconsiderate bosses would not be able to maintain good relations with their workers and as a result, productivity would suffer, to the detriment of all.
She said this in response to a Sabah Labour Department official who had said on Thursday that the public holiday on Wednesday is not gazetted as a statutory holiday and, therefore, employers are not obliged to pay overtime or allowance to those who worked on that day.
Catherine said such problems arose simply because the SLO is outdated.
“If the provision concerned under SLO is in line with the Employment Act in force in Peninsular Malaysia, these problems will not arise,” she added.
She said since SLO in an outdated law, it should not serve as reference for anything related to it.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Haji Aman had on late Tuesday night declared Wednesday a public holiday as a gesture of appreciation by the State Government for all those Sabahans involved in making the Merdeka Month closing celebration here a success.