Malaysia’s Employment Act – What Employers Need to Know

Effective 1 January 2023, amendments to the Malaysia Employment Act 1955 (EA 1955) came into effect. Here’s a summary of crucial updates for employers to consider.

1. Malaysia Employment Act 1955 covers all employees, despite differences in wages

Amendments to the First Schedule of the Employment Act mean that all employees are now covered, despite differences in earnings. Those earning more than RM4,000/month are exempted from certain provisions including:

2. Update in maximum number of working hours

In compliance with the Malaysia Employment Act, employees are now permitted a maximum of 45 hours per workweek, excluding lunch breaks, a reduction from the previous 48-hour limit.

3. Increased days for Maternity Leave

Following amendments to the Malaysia Employment Act, working mothers now enjoy an increase in paid maternity leave from 60 to 98 days post-delivery.

4. Paid Paternity Leave

Before amendments to the Malaysia Employment Act, there was no provision for paternity leave. Now, post-amendment, working fathers are entitled to 7 consecutive days of paid paternity leave.

5. Flexible and remote working arrangements

In alignment with the revised Malaysia Employment Act 1955, employees can now request flexible working arrangements in writing. Employers must respond within 60 days, providing written reasons if the request is denied.

6. Restrictions on employment of women

Previously, under the Malaysia Employment Act, female employees were prohibited from working night-time roles and underground positions. These restrictions have now been completely lifted.

7. Sick leave (where hospitalisation is required)

Previously, Malaysians who required to be on hospitalisation leave were allowed 60 days minus any sick leaves taken. Post-amendment, Malaysians are still allowed 60 days, however, it is irrespective of any sick leave that has been previously taken.

8. Hiring foreign employees

Post-amendment, employers are required to obtain approval from the Director General when hiring foreign employees in Malaysia. Employers must also notify the Director General within 30 days when foreign employees are being terminated.

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