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Supermax Improves Well-being of its Foreign Workers!

Supermax may be among, if not the first in the industry to adopt an equal pay and benefit structure for foreign workers here in Malaysia.

by K. Vatsala Devi
supermax introduces new policy

Supermax Corporation Berhad have rolled out a new and comprehensive Foreign Worker Management Policy as well as enhanced its existing Human Resources Policies, to immediately strengthen human resource and migrant workers policies and practices. These new policies that will further strengthen the human resource and migrant workers policies and practices in Supermax has been effective from November 2021.

Supermax takes its compliance issue seriously and have embarked on its undertakings to meet the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards since 2019. The implementation of the new Foreign Worker Management Policy will speed up the process in meeting the ILO standards and ensure that compliance and best practices are well adopted in the Company’s HR practices.

The Company is currently in the process of updating the US CBP of improvements made under its new policies. The effectiveness and implementation of these policies will be inspected by different levels of on-going audits with at least 2 auditing processes, and 2 additional US- based auditors which will conduct analysis and monitoring against the ILO 11 Forced Labour Indicators as follows:

  1. Abuse of vulnerability
  2. Deception
  3. Restriction of movement
  4. Isolation
  5. Physical and sexual violence
  6. Intimidation and threats
  7. Retention of identity documents
  8. Withholding of wages
  9. Debt bondage
  10. Abusive working and living conditions
  11. Excessive overtime

Supermax implemented its Zero Cost Recruitment Policy on 1 October 2019 where it has also completed the remediation of recruitment fees paid by all its active migrant workers. The Company have also commenced remediation to ex-workers within the scope since September 2021 and expects to complete this process by March 2022.

Amongst the slew of refinements being made include strengthening of its Human Resources Team as well as internal capacity building among the supervisory and management levels on prevention of forced labour and education on workers’ rights.

Along with this, Supermax is also modernizing its Human Resource Tools and Systems that will enable real time data management as well as employee self-service that will promote greater transparency and understanding of entitlements and wages at workers’ level.

The Company is making significant changes to improve benefits, facilities and living conditions provided to Supermax workers. Several measures to improve working and living conditions are currently in progress, which includes major refurbishment to its hostel facilities that will provide workers with adequate privacy.

Supermax Strives to Better the Lives of Foreign Workers in its Employ

New facilities to improve leisure and lifestyle elements of workers have also been added to the Company’s existing modern dormitory. Refurbishment and renovation work are currently on-going and will be expected to complete by mid of February 2022. Workers will soon get to enjoy the new added facilities which will include a designated smoking area, ATM facilities, canteen and dining improvements, and other amenities.

Supermax may be among, if not the first in the industry to adopt an equal pay and benefit structure for foreign workers here in Malaysia. This would mean both local and foreign workers, including workers of on-site vendors, are now on equal footing when receiving pay and benefits. This will further eliminate any discriminatory practices.

Along with the implementation of these new policies, Supermax has proactively raised its minimum wage to RM1,400 to be applied across all categories. (The current minimum wage set under the Malaysian Employment Regulations is at RM1,200). These measures have been adopted in the month of December 2021 for all workers directly employed under Supermax and its subsidiaries and will be effective for workers of on-site vendors starting January 2022.

The Company will also be addressing the use of sub-contractors in January 2022 and shall ensure the rights and welfare of the workers employment by these sub-contractors are protected. To meet these objectives, Supermax is in the midst of adopting a hybrid approach in its Human Resource Management system to ensure compliance is carried across its on-site supply chain. This will also improve monitoring and management of workers from on-site vendors.

To further strengthen the welfare and communication among migrant workers, the Company is revising and updating its company handbook that will promote awareness of employment and workers’ rights as well as set up a Worker’s Committee which will consist of representatives among migrant workers and elected by all migrant workers employed by Supermax. A series of engagement sessions with all its migrant workers will be held in January 2022 as the company rolls out the revised employment handbook and employment contracts that will be in line with the revised and new policies introduced.

To implement greater transparency and accountability, the Company will put in place a whistle blowing channel that will be administered by a reputable independent third party that will report directly to the Board of Directors of Supermax. The Board assures that the Company is committed to employees’ well-being and always respecting of their rights.

Supermax views compliance as a serious matter and is cooperating with authorities and relevant bodies to ensure that the new policies implemented meets with the ILO standards.

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