DSAL not proposing amendments to take control on real layoff data

The government is not, for the time being, proposing labor law amendments to tackle the lack of accurate data on workers experiencing layoffs, the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) acknowledged in a reply to the Times.
The Times inquired if the DSAL had plans to propose an amendment to the current laws in place so as to solve the aforementioned issue. In response, the DSAL said that “the Labour Affairs Bureau will continue to review the implementation of current labor laws and regulations, carefully listen to the opinions and suggestions put forward by the community, and analyze the actual situation in Macau.”
The department also noted in the same written reply to the Times that “according to Articles 9 and 10 of the Labour Relations Law, employers are obliged to arrange work and pay remuneration [to the workers]. As for unpaid leave, both parties must negotiate and agree [on the decision as it is] not being possible to decide [on the matter] unilaterally.”
The DSAL further added, “Since employees are paid for their work, and unpaid leave needs to be agreed between the employer and the employee, the employee [also] does not need to provide work to the employer without being paid.” The bureau remarked that this situation is different from the salary reduction cases, which are of a mandatory report to labor authorities. The DSAL explained, “This is different from the nature of reducing the basic remuneration for normal work, and so the treatment [on law provisions] is also different.”
The bureau also emphasized that if the employer decided to dismiss the employee because they fail to reach an agreement on unpaid leave, “this is not considered a reasonable justification to terminate the labor contract. In this case, the employer must follow the provisions of Law 7/2008 that specify the need for the payment of a dismissal compensation to employees.”
Referring to the current impacts on labor from the Covid-19 pandemic, the DSAL has called “on both the employers and employees to be considerate, respectful, negotiate work and holiday arrangements in good faith, to tide over the difficulties and to meet the dawn together, so that harmonious labor relations can be sustained.”
On previous occasions, both the DSAL and Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, noted the lack of real and concrete data on worker layoff rates was due to the absence of a precipitating context that required a mandatory report.

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