You Could Be Fined Up To RM100,000 If You Hire Children Below Age 15

Dewan Rakyat passed the Children and Young Persons (Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2018 yesterday, 17 October.

Cover image via GlobalTimes

Employers who hire children below age 15 can be fined up to RM100,000 or face a maximum jail sentence of five years

The Dewan Rakyat approved the Children and Young Persons (Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2018 yesterday, 17 October. The fine upon conviction is now ten times more than before.

According to Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran, "The amendments will increase protection to children and young people in employment, particularly from discrimination and exploitation by irresponsible parties," reported The Star.

With the Amendment, the minimum fine has been increased from RM5,000 to RM50,000, while the maximum fine has been raised from RM10,000 to RM100,000

According to The Star, jail term has also been updated from the previous minimum of one year to now two years.

The penalty will also be slapped on bosses who employ children for hazardous work

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Unicef

Children and young persons are not allowed to be involved in dangerous work such as:

- Handling machinery,
- jobs that expose them to dangerous chemicals, 
- extreme temperatures, and
- loud noises with exception to those approved in the Employment Act.

"Employers are also barred from employing children and young persons in the selling of alcohol, jobs related to gambling and lottery, massage and reflexology service, prostitution or as social escorts," said Kulasegaran, reported New Straits Times.

In addition, the Minister said that the amendment was made to ensure that Malaysia's labour laws are in line with international standards

The amendment to the Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966 is in line with Malaysia's Minimum Age Convention 1973, the Worst Form of Child Labour Convention 1999, and International Labour Organisation standards, reported The Star.

The Dewan is reported to be meeting again today, 18 October.

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