Kuala Lumpu​r (VNA) – Malaysian employers who force their foreign workers pay employment levy imposed by the government could be cited under the country’s Free Act 1951, according to Deputy Human Resources Minister Ismail Abd Muttalib.

The ministry has made it clear in the past that employers were legally bound to commit to the Employers Undertaking document, which they signed before they were permitted to hire foreign workers, the Malaysia-based New Straits Times reported.

Aside from the levy obligation, Malaysian employers must also adhere to other conditions when employing foreign workers.

The minister asked foreign workers to report to the ministry if their bosses demand them to pay the levy themselves.

Those who fail to do so would be asked to refund the amount deducted from their workers’ wages back to them and the department would invoke Section 24 of the Employment Act 1995.

The levy system was introduced on January 1 this year to improve the management of foreign workers, including limiting their employment to 15 percent of the country’s total workforce by 2020.

The new levy policy was initially scheduled to come into effect in early 2017 but was delayed for one year after appeals by employers.

The levy for foreign workers imposed by Malaysia’s Immigration Department on manufacturing, construction and services sectors is fixed at 1,850 MYR per year (453 USD), while that for agriculture and forestry sectors is 640 MYR (nearly 157 USD).-VNA