Thursday, January 21, 2016

Expect more retrenchments across the board, says HR minister

Published Today 8:46 pm

Malaysia will see more retrenchment across the board as its industries recoil from the ripple effect of falling petroleum prices, said the human resource ministry.

As reported by Sin Chew Daily, its minister Richard Riot said that more retrenchments will be expected in the new few months due to the continual drop in Brent Crude prices.

Speaking at a press conference after attending an industrial court forum in Kuching today, he said that the situation borders on the very serious.

Richard explained that the expected retrenchment in Malaysian industries is the result of the chain reaction created by the fall in oil prices.

“In the next few month, retrenchment levels will be very serious, it may not even turn for the better until next year,” said the minister.

Richard added that the retrenchment will not be limited to the oil and gas sector, as it will hit related services and industries, including the banking sector which will have to deal with the repercussions of dropping oil prices soon.

Asked if his ministry have any data on the projected retrenchments, Richard said that there is no solid numbers yet in the interim.

Queried if the government has a plan to step in and assist those who are going to lose their jobs, he said that it is a complicated question, as the government cannot force employers to re-hire those laid off.

“If employer can’t afford the salary, how are they going to hire employee?” he said further, adding that the only thing for those retrenched to do is continue looking for another job.

ILO forecast bleak employment outlook

He also reportedly took a swing at deputy minister Ahmad Maslan's infamous second job statement, saying that for those retrenched, finding a new job is difficult enough, much less to land a second job.

News reports have speculated that national petroleum company Petronas is looking to lay off some of its 50,000 strong work force, as the oil giant struggles to consolidate its operations as its revenue took a dive following falling oil prices.

According to reports, the same bleak forecast has been predicted by the United Nations labour agency ILO yesterday, when it called for urgent steps to boost the job market, forecasting higher unemployment in the two years to come.

According to its 2016 projections on world employment and social outlook trends, the labour agency said the global jobless numbers is estimated to rise by about 2.3 million to 199.4 million jobless worldwide from 2015 estimates which stood at 197.1 million.

While an additional 1.1 million jobless is expected to join the ranks of the globally unemployed in 2017.

If the world failed to boost the jobs market, ILO warned of intensified social tensions and adverse economic effects.

But more than just the lack of jobs, the labour agency posited that the problem is also in the lack of job quality as well as income equity, with low employment standards and salaries impacting quality of life and increasing social tension.

As reported, ILO Research Department director Raymond Torres said that the unstable economic environment associated with volatile capital flows, still dysfunctional financial markets and the shortage of global demand will be the core factors adversely affecting enterprises as well as deterring investment and jobs creation.


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