PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd has been found to be in breach of the standard operating procedures (SOP) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), according to the Human Resources Ministry.
Following a joint investigation by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 and RMCO task forces on July 13, it was discovered that Top Glove’s employees were not practising social distancing at their headquarters in Meru, Klang.
It was also discovered that the workers were living within a crowded environment.
“Top Glove has been issued a compound by the Health Ministry and served with a compliance notice by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
“However, no offences involving forced labour elements were detected,” the Human Resources Ministry said in a statement.
Last week, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) listed Top Glove’s subsidiaries Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd on its website due to allegations of forced labour.
“The ministry is aware that the impact of sanctions by the US CBP will affect the country’s credibility as well as affecting the confidence of foreign investment in the country following allegations of forced labour,” the ministry said.
Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan has held a meeting with Top Glove and Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) to get an explanation on the action taken against Top Glove.
“The Government is committed and will not compromise in addressing the issue of forced labour in the country,” it said.
The ministry said the element of forced labour is also closely related to the accommodation facilities provided by employers to workers especially foreign workers.
The ministry does not want employers including those in the rubber sector to commit actions that are against the Minimum Standards Act Employee Housing, Accommodation and Facilities or Act 446 (Amendment) 2019.
The Human Resources Ministry also instructed all employers to implement Independent Social Compliance Audit (ISCA) to ensure compliance with the national standards.
The implementation of the ISCA was decided during the Joint Committee Meeting between the home minister and human resources minister last year who agreed on an implementation date of January 1, 2021.
In a separate statement, Top Glove said it continuously upheld good labour practices and complied with requirements of labour laws and best practices, while ensuring adequate measures are in place to protect the safety and well-being of its workforce.
In demonstrating its commitment to ethical labour practices and further dispelling allegations of forced labour taking place in its manufacturing facilities, Top Glove was accorded an “A” rating in a social audit conducted on May 23 to 26, 2020 by Amfori.
The overall “A” rating represents the highest Amfori rating, which was the result of Top Glove receiving 12 “Very Good” scores and 1 “Good” score for a total of 13 performance areas assessed during the said audit.
“The recent Amfori audit and earlier third-party audits which garnered good ratings, provide
independent verification that there is no element of forced labour in our manufacturing facilities”, Top Glove human resources general manager William Yap said.
Since January 2019, Top Glove has attended to more than 100 external social audits of its factories, conducted by established international audit firms.
In addition, Top Glove has proactively engaged with various organisations with a view to improving Top Glove’s social compliance and performance.
“We will continue to engage with our stakeholders and are also committed to keep improving on worker welfare, which remains a priority for Top Glove”, Yap said.