Human Resources Minister says that the Progressive Wage Policy Pilot project could be extended until June of next year.

Steven Sim, a KUALA-LUMPUR resident, has said that the three-month Progressive Wage Policy Pilot Project (PWP), which began in January this year, may be extended until June of next year.

Registration for the PWP opened on 1 June. About 500 companies have already registered their interest.

The Human Resources Minister told reporters that “we are targeting around 1,000 companies to take part in the PWP which will run from June until August” after attending an open forum on the Progressive Wage Policy here on Thursday (6th June).

He stated that the companies who have registered would receive confirmation of their participation in the PWP with a few days or weeks.

He said that the PWP program should run for at least one year.

The government has allocated RM50mil to the PWP Pilot Project.

The PWP is open to construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trades, as well as motor vehicle and motorcycle repair, information and communications, professional, scientific and technical activities, and other related fields. It aims to raise the wages of workers earning between RM1,500 to RM4,999.

Companies that are selected will receive an incentive of up to RM200 per employee per month in the entry level group and RM300 for every employee in non-entry level group.

Companies participating in PWP must provide proof that their employees attended and completed at least 21 hours of training and skill improvement between January and August.

Sim had earlier stated that foreign and multinational companies are not eligible to take part in the PWP.

In response to questions asked during the townhall, he stated that “the emphasis is on local businesses, especially small and medium enterprises” (SMEs).

He stated that the PWP pilot project was designed to identify any shortcomings at the implementation phase during the next 3 months.

He said that the pilot project was a test period for determining if there were any teething issues.

He added that if necessary, the RM50mil allocated for this purpose can be increased.

He stated that the PWP would complement existing wage initiatives such as the Minimum Wage Order and Productivity Linked-Wage System.

Sim, the MWO’s spokesperson, said that the minimum wage findings have been finalised. They will be discussed later this month by the National Wages Consultative Council.

He said that the council would hold multiple meetings before making a final decision.

He said there could be delays due to internal disputes in the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.

The National Wages Consultative Council Act mandates that the minimum wage be reviewed every two years.

In May 2022 the government increased the minimum wage from RM1,200 up to RM1,500.

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