Deputy Human Resources Minister Mustapha Sakmud has expressed his intention to complete the amendment process of the Sabah Labour Ordinance (SLO) before the year’s end. The amended SLO is currently under review by the attorney general, and stakeholders such as the state government, employers, workers’ union, and NGOs are being consulted to ensure the suitability of the proposed changes. The amendments aim to align the SLO with international labor standards and include increasing maternity leave and paternity leave, among other measures.
KOTA KINABALU, 21 June 2023 – Deputy Human Resources Minister Mustapha Sakmud expressed his hopes to complete the amendment to the Sabah Labour Ordinance (SLO) before the end of the year. Speaking at the 8th Borneo Conference and Exhibition on Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH 2023), Mustapha revealed that the amended SLO is currently under review by the attorney general. The involvement and consultation of the state government, employers, workers’ union, and NGOs are crucial in ensuring the suitability of the amendments for Sabah.
The last amendment to the SLO took place in 2005, and Mustapha emphasized the importance of aligning the ordinance with international labor standards practiced globally. Proposed amendments include increasing maternity leave to 98 days and extending paternity leave from three to seven days.
Local civil society groups, including Sabah Human Rights Centre, Society for Equality, Respect and Trust for All Sabah (Serata), Undi Sabah, and Borneo Komrad, are urging the federal and state governments to expedite the amendment process to provide comprehensive protection to workers in the state. Their joint statement also called for regulations addressing workplace sexual harassment, stronger protection against unfair dismissal of expectant mothers, the abolition of wage thresholds, coverage of all forms of employment-related discrimination, and provisions against forced labor.
The ongoing BOSH 2023 conference, attended by 350 participants from Sabah, Sarawak, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam, aims to unlock the economic potential of Sabah and Sarawak within the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga). The conference provides a platform for stakeholders to share ideas, best practices, and build partnerships to boost economic growth and development in the region. Discussions at the conference will address critical issues such as mental health support systems at the workplace and challenges posed by future technologies.
Mustapha encouraged the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to collaborate with agencies and companies to provide comprehensive training and consultation services on occupational health and safety. He also called on companies and government-linked corporations (GLCs) in Sabah to participate in the national OSH Award competition to gauge the level of OSH practice in the state. – source: Borneo Post