As a responsible employer, we adhere to all applicable labour laws and regulations across our operations. Other than Malaysia’s Employment Act 1955, we are guided by labour principles specified by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s core conventions, which cover ethical recruitment, working hours, freedom of association and collective bargaining, as well as protection against discrimination and harassment.
Our commitment to fair labour practices is reflected in the Group’s CoEC and the availability of whistleblowing channels for employees to report any violation of labour practices safely and confidentially.
Since the pandemic, we have intensified all efforts to protect the well-being of Bousteadors by adhering religiously to all the relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Demonstrating our commitment to upholding good labour practices, we are pleased to note that in 2021, the Group recorded zero non-compliance in relation to employment and labour practices.
Collective Bargaining and Freedom of Association
In adherence to Malaysia’s Trade Unions Act 1959 and Industrial Relations Act 1967, we support the right of Bousteadors to exercise their freedom of association and collective bargaining. Currently, our employees are represented by unions, including the following:
Non-Metallic Mineral Products Manufacturing Employees’ Union (NMMPMEU)
National Union of Petroleum and Chemical Industry Workers (NUPCIW)
National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW)
All Malayan Estates Staff Union (AMESU)
National Union of Commercial Workers (NUCW)
We review our Collective Agreements (CA) with the unions every three years to address matters such as wages and fair treatment. Meanwhile, weekly and quarterly meetings are held between management and union representatives across all our operations.
Foreign Workers’ Rights and Forced Labour
Our Plantation Division employs a large number of foreign workers to meet its labour-intensive requirements. Recognising the need to protect their rights, the Division has in place a Human Rights Policy and Foreign Workers Policy to guide their management. We have also established a centralised specialist team committed to resolving matters pertaining to foreign workers.
Standard Housing and Amenities
In accordance with the Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities Act 1990, the Group ensures that the welfare of our workers is protected by providing suitable living quarters with substantial amenities.
Workers’ quarters in one of our estates
All housing quarters are equipped with clinics, recreational amenities, places of worship, and stores that retail essential supplies at a subsidised rate.
All living quarters are equipped with free electricity, clean water supply as well as proper waste and sewerage management systems.
Weekly housing inspections are carried out to address any complaints as well as to look out for any unreported issues.
Routine maintenance and upgrading works are conducted as and when required.
Fogging is conducted to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
Auxiliary police are in place to ensure the safety of our employees.
Forced Labour & Modern Slavery
We are committed to driving change in the palm oil sector by doing our part to abolish human trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery. The policy is extended to our supply chain, where suppliers across the Group are required to comply with local regulations pertaining to forced labour, excessive working hours, and health and safety standards.
The Group promotes ethical recruitment to ensure there is no abuse of foreign workers’ rights at any stage of the employment process. Via our centralised recruitment system, foreign workers are recruited directly to minimise dependence on recruitment agents and to shorten the hiring turnaround time.
Where we require the assistance of recruitment agents, we make certain that our foreign workers are not subjected to recruitment fees or contract substitutions. To ensure transparency, we require our recruitment agents to relay detailed information to foreign workers including the contents of the employment contract, job description, minimum wage offered, living costs, transportation costs and accommodation. The Group also ensures that all foreign workers receive a copy of their signed employment contract.
Foreign workers’ passports are kept by the management with the workers’ written consent. No conditions are imposed should the workers wish to retrieve their passports.
In keeping with our focus on eradicating forced labour, all employees undertake work willingly and there is no involuntary overtime. Our workers are provided guaranteed freedom to resign and are not subjected to any penalties for termination of contract. We are also firmly against debt bondage or withholding of wages. Foreign workers are provided with a detailed payslip and offered at least one day of rest every week. They are also covered by a general insurance policy known as the Foreign Workmen Compensation Scheme, which covers injuries and fatalities.
In line with Malaysia’s Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996, we strictly avoid any child labour. Our Plantation Division has its own Child Protection Policy to deter child labour in our estates and mills. The policy is also communicated to and included in agreements with our suppliers.
We ensure all employees are adequately and equitably compensated for their work, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, nationality or background in line with our ‘equal work, equal pay’ policy. In addition to complying with the minimum wage policy set by the Malaysian Government, we offer our employees a wide range of allowances, incentives, bonuses, overtime and other benefits. We also require our suppliers to abide by local requirements on minimum wage.
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