Foreign workers’ levy starts on January 1

Foreign workers at a goat farm in Tanjung Karang, Selangor. Starting next year, employers in the plantation and agriculture sector will have to pay RM640 per foreign worker. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, December 21, 2017.

EMPLOYERS are required to pay the levy for their foreign workers starting January 1.

The Human Resources Ministry in a statement today said all employers must pay the levy for new foreign workers as well as for those who renewed their temporary employment visit pass (PLKS).

“This policy also applies to employers who have already forwarded their levy payments before the policy comes into force, even if the PLKS period is still active from this year and expires in 2018.

“Strict action will be taken against employers who fail to comply with the law, regulations and policies set forth with regard to the levy payment of foreign workers,” it said.

The levy payment ruling is already stipulated in the employers’ undertaking document which must be signed by employers before they are allowed to hire foreign workers.

The levy for foreign workers in the peninsula for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors is fixed at RM1,850, while for the plantation and agriculture sector the rate is RM640, and for maids, ranging from RM410 to RM590.

For Sabah and Sarawak, the levy for foreign workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors is RM1,010, services (RM1,490), plantation (RM590), agriculture (RM410), and maids, ranging from RM410 to RM590.

The government, via the 11th Malaysia Plan, has outlined initiatives to improve the foreign workers’ management system, including limiting the employment of foreign workers at 15% of the country’s total employment rate by 2020, and regulating the influx of low-skilled foreign workers.

The cabinet on March 25, 2016 approved the levy for foreign workers effective January 1, 2017.

However, after receiving the views and feedback from employers’ organisations and taking into account the cost of doing business, the government postponed the levy to January next year. – Bernama, December 21, 2017.  

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