Malaysia enacts flexible working arrangements for employees

Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources Steven Sim has reaffirmed employees’ rights to flexible work arrangements and urged for employers’ compliance.
By: | April 19, 2024

Employees in Malaysia can now formally request flexible work arrangements from their employers, according to an announcement by Steven Sim, Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources.

Sim, utilising social media platform X, clarified that employees have the right to apply for variations in work hours, days, and location under Sections 60P and 60Q of the Employment Act 1995. Employers are obligated to respond to these requests within 60 days and provide written justifications for any denials.

“The Ministry of Human Resources (KESUMA) will continuously review and improve our labour policies and laws to support the 3Ks, namely welfare, skills, employee performance, and to enhance the country’s economic competitiveness,” he said.

Sim also shared insights into the Employment Act 1995, particularly highlighting Part XIIC, which addresses flexible working arrangements. Specifically, Section 60P (1) of the act delineates the rights of employees to petition their employers for flexible working arrangements, subject to the regulations outlined in Part XII or contractual agreements.

This announcement comes in response to a recent policy shift in neighbouring Singapore, which grants employees the option for a four-day workweek, increased remote work opportunities, and flexible scheduling starting in December 2024. These changes were outlined in the Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements established by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) in Singapore, reported New Straits Times.

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TAFEP, a collaborative initiative involving Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), underscored the importance of balanced and progressive employment practices. The guidelines introduced by TAFEP aim to promote inclusivity and adaptability within Singapore’s workforce, aligning with broader global trends towards flexible work arrangements.