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You can only employ foreign workers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan to work in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors with effective 1st August 1998.

An employer in Sabah is only permitted to employ foreign workers from Indonesia and Philippines. In Federal Territory of Labuan, only foreign workers from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan are permitted to be employed.

Applications to employ foreign workers to work in sectors other than manufacturing and plantation have been withheld except for domestic servant.

Only nationals from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia are permitted to be employed as domestic servant. You are only permitted to employ a foreign worker as domestic servant from Sri Lanka and Philippines if your monthly income exceed RM10,000. Where your monthly income is more than RM3,000 you are permitted to employ a foreign worker as domestic servant from Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand.

Where the employment of a foreign worker is for the manufacturing sector, only manufacturer of "Export Oriented Industries" is eligible to submit their application for approval. As for the agricultural sector, only the main commodities estate owners such as rubber, palm oil and cocoa and for farming such as aquaculture, live-stocks, vegetables, fruits and nursery are permitted to submit application for employment of foreign worker.

Where a foreign worker has been employed prior to 1st August 1998, only those in the the hotel industry, cleaning, aquaculture and vegetable farming are permitted to renew their work pass. Those in the manufacturing sector are allowed to renew their work pass unless the factory is down sizing or being wound up. Workers in the construction sector are also permitted to renew their work pass provided their employer has proof that their project is still in proceeding.

Other foreign workers who do not fall under the above categories must be sent back to their country of origin upon the expiry of their work pass or be transferred to the manufacturing and agricultural sectors depending on the nature of their jobs. These include workers working in the :

  • Karaoke or entertainment center
  • Restaurant or coffee shop
  • Canteen
  • Laundry shop
  • Wholesale market
  • Night market
  • Motor workshop
  • Food chain industry
  • Franchise
  • Hypermarket, supermarket and mini market
  • Petrol station

An employer is not allowed to utilize the service of any private employment agency or individual agent in handling matters concerning employment of a foreign worker. Company officers of an employer are permitted to handle such matters.

An employer shall meet the worker at the arrival gate of the specified entry point and help them settle in and find their way to the work place.

An employer shall provide appropriate accommodation to the worker. Department of Labour will conduct checking to confirm the compliance with this.

Where an employer terminates the contract of service of the worker, regardless of the validity of the work pass, the employer is responsible to send the worker back to the home country. Traveling expenses will be borne by the employer. Application for change of employer under this circumstance is not allowed.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the validity of the work pass of the foreign worker at all time.

An employer is responsible for the safe keeping of the worker's passport. Where the worker fled, the passport shall be returned to the worker's home country Embassy.

An employer is only permitted to employ worker from certain country and shall inform the Ministry of Home affairs on the actual arrival date of the worker.

Wage and other terms of employment of a foreign worker shall not vary to those offered to a local worker.

For the departure of a worker to the home country, an employer shall obtain "check-out-memo" from the Immigration Department.

Where a foreign worker fled, the employer shall make a report to the Immigration Department.

An employer shall have an orientation program designed to assist new foreign worker to settle in to a worker life in Malaysia.

An employer shall report to the Immigration Department on the employment of a foreign worker, 14 days before such worker starts work.

Only after efforts to get qualified local citizens and permanent residents have failed, including contacting the nearest Manpower Department, an employer's application to employ foreign worker will be considered.

A foreign worker is not allowed to join any employee's union or to bring his or her family to reside in the country.

An employer shall protect the foreign worker under the Workmen's Compensation Scheme (Insurance Order 1996), Workmen's Compensation Act 1952.

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