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Overcoming Our Labour Shortage Issue

Overcoming Our Labour Shortage Issue

Like many other countries, Malaysia is facing labour shortages. Although the government has lifted the Covid-19 freeze on foreign worker recruitment in February 2022, there has not been a huge return in foreign workers. *According to diplomats and industry experts, ongoing worker protection negotiations with countries that supply foreign workers such as Indonesia and Bangladesh have delayed the process even further.

At Maclean, we hold ourselves to high ethical standards in our business and employment practices. Being in the cleaning services industry, we also face a severe shortage of cleaners due to delayed government approvals of new applications. Despite the pressure on many fronts to meet increasing demands for clean workspaces due to Covid-19, we have always been dedicated to employing a 100% legal workforce.

Although Maclean’s foreign worker recruitment process is rigorous, we uphold our commitment to our customers and ourselves to source reliable and competent workers legally. The foreign worker application process involves filing quota applications, juggling procedural works with various parties and agencies, managing workers’ arrivals and their subsequent legal settlement, and finally conducting training before workers are deployed to client sites. Unfortunately, coupled with the delay in government approvals and increasing demand for our cleaning services, fulfilling labour shortages has become a long process that cannot be achieved overnight and may even take up to several months.

Maclean’s foreign worker recruitment process is comprehensive and thorough. Before any workers are employed, there are two important stages in our foreign worker recruitment process – pre-employment and employment stages.

Pre-employment Stage

This stage begins with the initial filing of quota applications which takes approximately two months.

  1. Maclean’s Human Resources Department (HRD) needs to liaise with Jabatan Tenaga Kerja Semenanjung Malaysia (JTKSM), Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia, foreign embassies and other relevant government bodies in order to receive approval to bring in foreign workers.
  2. Once an approval letter is issued, Maclean then applies for a foreign worker quota from Kementerian Sumber Manusia (KSM), who will approve the quota application if Maclean meets the relevant criteria.

The next step involves the recruitment of foreign workers which may possibly take two more months.

  1. Upon their arrival, Maclean’s HRD arranges for the workers’ medical checkup by the Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (FOMEMA) within 30 days from their arrival date.
  2. Once medical clearance is obtained, Maclean applies for the workers’ Visitor Pass (Temporary Employment) for them to commence work.

Employment Stage

This stage begins with the workers’ orientation and training which takes approximately one month.

  1. The workers’ orientation and induction training from TSA (Training, Safety and Audit) involves dos and don’ts, behaviour rules and the familiarization of tools and chemicals.
  2. Workers are given handbooks, site user manuals, clear job descriptions and instructions to attend regular staff and manager meetings for the crew to work together harmoniously.
  3. During training, TSA will identify the workers’ capabilities and competencies in performing tasks to identify potential Team Leaders.

Upon completion of training, workers are assigned to client sites based on request by our Operations Department (OPS). Maclean employs a buddy system where a new foreign worker will be paired with a seasoned foreign worker for approximately one month. This aids the new workers’ familiarization with tasks and company rules, as well as Malaysia’s culture.

Maclean has always believed in the importance of nurturing people. We have consistently invested time and efforts into ensuring that our human capital is turned into productivity and economic value. This is because employees must be fully committed, both mentally and physically, to be given the important responsibilities of keeping our clients’ sites safe and clean. Therefore, in the face of our current labour shortage problem, we ensure that workers’ morale is not compromised. Maclean’s comprehensive training program and buddy system are the few of many ways that demonstrate our commitment to our clients.

*Malaysia firms turn down orders as migrant labour shortage hits

Oct 2022
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