Jabatan Tenaga Kerja or Labour Department has been established in 1912 and is one of the 12 government agencies under Ministry of Human Resource. The early objective of labour department before year 1960’s is to protect the plantation and mine worker’s interest. In the year 1970, Jabatan Buruh or Labour Department merged with Industrial Relation Department and both has working toward the new objective to resolve industrial dispute which concern of employees and trade union.
The restructuring of labour institutions is to realize the functions in more effective ways. The several improvements and changes been made are to separate the Labour Department from Jabatan Perhubungan Perusahaan (JPP) or Industrial Relation Department, then performed new sets of labour department responsibilities such as to care the employee’s interest and welfare to establish harmony environment between the employer and employees.
The Employment Service Unit which was previously under ‘Jabatan Tenaga Rakyat’ or People Workforce Department has been merged with Labour Department effective from February 2003. This merging contributes a big change to Labour Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JBSM) which involved in the upgrading functions of labour information collection and analysis and job seekers’ placement in private sectors. The merge activity results the re-branding of the department from Jabatan Buruh to Jabatan Tenaga Kerja Semenanjung Malaysia.