Adhere to 45-hour workweek, employers in Malaysia told

Urging compliance, Malaysia’s HR Minister has also called for better salaries to keep high-skilled employees in the country.
By: | February 27, 2023

V Sivakumar, Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister, has called on all employers to respect the amended Employment Act, which has reduced working hours from 48 hours to 45 hours per week.

The minister’s call comes as the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) continues to receive complaints of employers not complying with the amendments made to the Employment Act since its implementation on January 1.

“We must respect the law for the benefit of all. Workers want their employers to adhere to the law, including the [Employment] Act,” said Sivakumar.

The amended Employment Act has also increased maternity leave from 60 to 98 days and paternity leave from three days to seven days.

In a separate statement, the minister also encouraged employers to offer better salaries to retain high-skilled employees in high-tech industries to prevent brain drain. “I urge all employers to give priority in offering a good salary as this is one of the factors for high-skilled workers to not leave the country,” he said.

According to Sivakumar, his ministry has taken various initiatives, particularly through TalentCorp, the national agency that drives Malaysia’s talent strategy towards becoming a dynamic talent hub, to encourage high-skilled employees working abroad to return to the country.

READ: Amendments to Malaysia’s Employment Act kick in

The HR ministry is also focused on reducing unemployment and to encourage more women to work to work, a grant equal to 80% of the value of an employee’s salary will be offered to women who return to work after their pregnancy, said the minister.