Top Glove rescinds controversial allowance after backlash

IN an interesting about turn, Top Glove Corp Bhd has said it will postpone the implementation of a controversial attendance allowance system after receiving flak from several quarters.

“Top Glove wishes to inform that it is reviewing the proposed attendance incentive initiative, and the implementation has been put on hold until further notice,” the world’s largest glove maker said in a WhatsApp text message to FocusM.

Yesterday, Top Glove announced that it will introduce a monthly attendance allowance to its staff – a paltry monthly sum of RM50 – effective Jan 1.

Even then, it comes with certain strict conditions attached.

In a memo issued to its employees yesterday – which was sighted by FocusM – Top Glove said its workers will only get the monthly allowance if they have 100% full attendance and be punctual at work during the said period.

“In the event of any occasion of late to work/ early out/ sick leave/ unpaid leave/ hospitalisation leave/ absent from work, the attendance allowance will be deducted proportionally,” the glove maker pointed out.

Top Glove stipulates that if the employee does meet any of the conditions stated once in the month, the allowance will be halved to RM25.

And if the worker does not meet the conditions stated twice in the same month, he/she would not be entitled to the attendance allowance.

Top Glove’s attendance allowance memo


Yesterday, FocusM reported that migrant workers at Top Glove are mulling a boycott from work move, claiming the management was not taking their grouses seriously despite several discussions.

Among their concerns were that they were forced to relocate to a place further away from workplace with little convenience stores nearby and unable to get proper meals.

As the current hostels were far, the workers complained that they often do not get enough rest as they have to get up early to wait for their transport buses.

To make matters worse, they also claimed that their transport buses are often tardy, resulting in them arriving late to work.

Practise what you preach

Commenting on the issue, Penang Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said the attendance allowance system runs contrary to Top Glove’s own philosophy of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

K Veeriah

“The company goes around preaching about taking care of workers’ welfare and promoting a healthy lifestyle,” its secretary K Veeriah told FocusM.

“I know the several of its top leaders even talk about going vegetarian and brushing teeth three times a day but in reality, what they are doing is contrary to what they preach.”

Touching on the memo, he said that any attempt to bar workers from taking medical leave despite having certification from a doctor is tantamount to forced labour under modern definition.

Calling it obnoxious, Veeriah added an employer should not only keep a lookout for their employees’ physical well-being but also their mental health given stress can lead to ailment.

Offering a solution to glove makers as whole, he urged them to offer all its workers a decent living wage which would eventually render such allowances unnecessary.

“Glove makers are raking in billions due to the unprecedented times. By right, they should be setting a benchmark to other companies by offering its staff a decent living wage,” justified Veeriah.

“And you can also provide a conducive working environment for your employees which will alleviate their stress.” – Dec 29, 2020

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