Migrant workers are often subject to vulnerabilities and risks during recruitment and employment processes. Challenges faced by them include high recruitment fees, deceptive information on job scopes and functions, passport retention, discrimination and violation of labour rights, as well as lack of or ineffective grievance mechanisms.
As with other labour-intensive industries, these issues are also prevalent in the oil palm sector. In order to address these issues, IOI Corporation Berhad (“IOI”) conducted a study of its labour practices together with a labour consultant to identify the gaps in its practices. Armed with these gap analyses and after extensive engagements with both external (NGOs, customers, etc.) and internal stakeholders (its operations personnel, HR, etc.), IOI introduced three major policies on labour practices and human rights. The policies are (i) Equal Opportunity Employment & Freedom of Association Policy, (ii) Minimum Wages & Leave Pay Policies in Malaysia, and (iii) Foreign Workers Recruitment Guideline & Procedures in Malaysia.
Among the key highlights and commitments made in these policies are no recruitment fee policy, no retention of workers’ passports, paying the workers statutory minimum wage, freedom of association for the workers, robust grievance mechanisms and procedures, no discrimination of workers and procedures for workers’ recruitment process.
IOI have implemented these practices in Peninsular Malaysia and parts of its Sabah’s operations. The company targets full implementation in its operations in Malaysia by end of September 2018. Monitoring process of these practices are also in place to ensure continuous application of these policies. Moving forward, the policies will be further introduced at its operations in Indonesia.
IOI hopes that with these industry-leading labour practices and initiatives to improve human rights, it can help “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all