Malaysia HR Ministry Urges Employers to Enforce 45-Hour Workweek Mandate

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The Malaysian government stressed the importance of employers complying with the Employment Act 1955 amendment, specifically regarding the reduction of the workweek from 48 hours to 45 hours, in February 2023.


The reduction, approved in Parliament the previous year, was initially set for implementation on September 1, 2022, but after discussions with stakeholders, the Human Resources Minister postponed it to January 1, 2023.


Despite the amendment, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) highlighted ongoing reports of non-compliance by certain employers regarding the revised working hours, urging the Ministry to take stringent measures against these violations.


The amendment not only reduces the work hours but also introduces provisions for flexible working arrangements, increased paternity leave, and strengthened protection against various forms of harassment and discrimination.


The Employment Act protections are applicable to specific groups of employees:


  • Individuals earning 2,000 ringgit (US$441) per month or less.
  • Manual laborers or those overseeing manual labor, regardless of income.
  • Workers involved in the maintenance and operation of motor vehicles.
  • Domestic servants.
  • Employees on seagoing vessels (with certain conditions).

For employees not included in the Employment Act, their employment terms will be dictated by the agreements stated in their contracts.

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