Hey. In the world of employment, trust between employers and employees is super important. However, not all employers uphold this trust. Today I would like to point out some of the top scams by Malaysian employers that every employees should be aware of, based on personal experience and collection of information from few acquaintances.
No Offer Letter
One of the top scams by Malaysian employers is they don’t provide offer letter to their employees. P&G states that an offer letter serves as a formal agreement outlining the terms of employment, specifying the job role, salary, and potentially other job-related benefits. Interestingly, some employers are hesitant to furnish this document, possibly due to confusion between the offer letter and a confirmation letter. When employees request the offer letter, these employers often mention that it will be provided only after the completion of the employee’s probationary period.
Changes in Agreed Salary
The issue arises when employees are not provided with an offer letter. In such cases, employers have the ability to alter the salary by lowering it. In most cases, these employers might justify these changes by giving reasons like the employee’s probationary status, poor performance despite the absence of performance indicators (KPIs), or the company’s insufficient profitability.
No Confirmation Letter
Another top scams by Malaysian employers is they don’t provide confirmation letter as well. If the employers find it challenging to furnish an offer letter, it would be unsurprising that producing a confirmation letter will be an even more daunting task for them. As a result, they will not fulfill the promised salary increment following employees’ probationary period, under any circumstances.
What’s even more concerning is that these employers do not issue payslips, which are crucial documents. Payslips serve various essential purposes, including verifying the accuracy of employees’ salary calculations, tracking deductions, and providing documentation for financial assistance applications or job applications, as some employers request recent payslips. Nevertheless, these employers boldly employ phrases like “Don’t you trust me?” and “I wouldn’t lie to you”. This is not about trust, this is every employee’s right to receive their payslip.
No or Late EPF & SOCSO Contribution
An employee earning RM1500 ends up receiving approximately RM1300 after deductions for EPF and SOCSO. However, without a payslip, how can the employee verify whether the employer has indeed made the contributions or matched the deducted amounts? I’ve seen a lot of people got scammed where the employers did not make the contributions for a year although deductions were made religiously every month.
No Overtime Payment
This is essentially another form of deception. The employers require their employees to work overtime. Sometimes, organisations consider overtime as a key performance indicator (KPI). However, they won’t compensate the employees if the overtime doesn’t reach at least an hour. This is a common occurrence. Let me share a personal example: There was an individual who entered the store just 15 minutes before closing time. Because we couldn’t refuse service to customers, we had to work until 10:20 pm. However, I didn’t receive any payment for the additional 20 minutes. Typically, the explanations provided are “We didn’t authorize the overtime”, “It’s not enough hours to claim” and in Bahasa Melayu, “Kenapa berkira sangat?”. In that case, why did they require us to stay longer?
Making You Quit Voluntarily
Imagine this scenario: You have a solid understanding of labor law, and you demand your rights. In response, certain employers might employ every conceivable tactic to encourage you to resign from your position. When you start questioning their practices, they already tend to view you as a potential troublemaker in the near future. Consequently, they subject you to challenging circumstances, fostering a sense of helplessness or frustration, ultimately leading you to make the decision to resign voluntarily.
They employ a clever strategy, as they can’t easily terminate your employment without concrete justifications. What’s even more baffling is that if they’ve provided a contract specifying a one-month notice period, they might simply ask you to take early leave as soon as you submit your resignation letter. For example, the employer might ask you to cease work as early as 7th October although the last day should be on the 31st. In doing so, they achieve their objective and save money by not paying your full salary.
Whose Fault Is It?
These bad employers or business owners would try their best to cheat so that they can save money. I’m not sure if this is happening outside Malaysia too but I’m pretty sure these scams have been around for so long in this country. There are two main reasons I can think of. First, a weak enforcement. There’s Employment Act 1995 but who actually ensures the employers are following it?
Second, ignorant employees. They don’t know their rights. Honestly, unless the employees have taken HR or business management courses, they won’t know about it. Or maybe they know about the law that can protect them but they’re just too lazy to take the necessary actions by reporting it to the labor office.
Full attention must be given to this issue. In my opinion, it should start by delivering effective communication on the employees’ rights. Maybe, make it compulsory for every SPM leavers to read and acknowledge the information given before they start their first job (although it’s temporary before they further studies). The rest, it’s up to them. Oh, ensuring easy access to lodge a report could possibly help too. As stated in MOHR’s website, complainers need to bring any documentary evidence such as contract or payslips. I believe, lack of these documents made the employees hesitate to proceed with the report. So, MOHR should list any other possible materials that can be used to lodge the report.
These scams must be stopped. It’s not just about protecting the employees’ rights, but it’s vital for the economic well-being. Unfair or poor employment practices can lead to financial instability for employees, affecting not only individuals but also the overall economy.
Thanks for reading.