YTY is pleased to confirm it has initiated payments to blue collar employees from foreign countries (“EFC’s”) for fees charged to them by employment agents during their recruitment process.
In announcing the extension of our Employee Reimbursement Program in August 2020 to cover all EFC’s, we indicated that first payments for the initial cohort of employees would be made in October 2020. We are pleased to confirm we have executed against plan. Payments for these employees are set to continue each month for a further 23 months.
We are also pleased to confirm we are on track to commence reimbursement for a second cohort, covering all other EFC’s, from January 2021, as had been previously targeted. Both cohorts are being reimbursed on an “as declared” basis, based on individual sums volunteered by the EFC’s themselves.
To ensure the approach YTY has undertaken to determine reimbursable amounts is viewed as transparent, non-coercive, and in line with global best practices, we proactively engaged Verité to audit us prior to commencing payouts. Verité is a respected, independent, non-profit entity, recognized globally for its focus on labor and human rights in supply chains around the world.
Based on Verité’s detailed audit review, we are pleased to note they confirmed no burden was placed on EFC’s to ask them to offer evidence or justification regarding fees they believe they should be declaring. Verité recognizes this as a best practice in recruitment fee verification. Verité further found that recruitment fees and expenses obtained from EFC’s during their interviews appeared to reflect valid market rates of various fees and expenses Verité usually encounters in the course of its numerous migrant worker and bonded labor research and audit activities across all nationalities. Overall, the independent audit by Verité has affirmed the transparent and non-coercive nature of our assessment process.
It is our intention to engage Verité in the future to provide a follow-on audit, this time to ensure that payments are being made by YTY as have been intended. The Employee Reimbursement Program will, in total, cost YTY a significant sum, but the expense incurred is seen as necessary to ensure we uphold global best practices in respect of employee welfare and continue to lead in a socially responsible manner within Malaysia.
Of note, as part of YTY’s extensive engagement process, which included detailed interviews with 100% of the EFC’s employed with us, a cohort comprising less than 10% of EFC’s voluntarily declared that no fees were paid by them. However, in order to ensure that every single EFC is provided with some form of compensation, YTY decided to provide this particular cohort with a goodwill gratuity payment, which was paid out in October 2020.
YTY has long valued the contribution of all employees, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, gender or country of origin. Employees from foreign countries, in particular, have played an important role in our growth and success. The initiation of the Employee Reimbursement Program is the latest in a series of measures that demonstrates – through action – YTY’s deep appreciation for our valued employees.