The Malaysian government has announced plans to amend the Employment Act 1955, which will take effect on January 1, 2023. The changes aim to protect workers’ rights, particularly those in the private sector.
Key Changes to Employment Act
Here are some of the critical changes to the employment act in Malaysia that you can expect:
Increased Protection for Part-Time and Contract Workers
Part-time and contract workers will now have the same rights as full-time employees, including the right to paid annual, sick, maternity, and paternity leave. They will also be entitled to public holidays and paid rests between shifts.
The changes to the act will also allow employees to request flexible working arrangements, such as the ability to work from home or have a more flexible work schedule.
Higher Minimum Wage
Currently, the minimum wage in Malaysia is RM1,000 (US$250) per month. However, it is proposed that this be increased to RM1,500 (US$375) per month in 2023.
This would be a significant increase, and it is hoped that it would help to reduce poverty and inequality in the country.
Improved Job Security
One of the key changes that will come into effect with the new Employment Act is increased job security for workers. Currently, workers can be dismissed without cause or reason, which often leaves them vulnerable to exploitation.
The new act will protect workers from being unjustly dismissed and will require employers to provide a valid reason for any dismissal that does take place.
This will give workers more peace of mind and make it easier for them to speak up if they feel they are being treated unfairly.
Greater Transparency in the Hiring Process
Under the new act, employers will be required to give employees a written statement of employment within seven days of the commencement of their employment. This statement must include the employee’s job title, salary, leave entitlement, and other employment terms and conditions.
The act also establishes an Employment Tribunal, which will hear disputes between employers and employees. The Tribunal will have the power to award damages to employees who have been unfairly dismissed or who have suffered other losses due to their employment.
Increased Protection for Migrant Workers
The recent changes to the Employment Act in Malaysia will significantly impact the rights of migrant workers in the country. The new law will provide increased protection for migrant workers against exploitation and abuse.
Under the new law, migrant workers will be entitled to the same basic employment rights as Malaysian workers. This includes the right to a minimum wage, paid leave, and rest days. The law will also protect migrant workers against discrimination and sexual harassment.
The changes to the Employment Act are a welcome development, and they will help to improve the lives of workers in Malaysia. Although, there is still more to be done to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and respectfully, these changes are a step towards that goal.
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