Malaysian union urges enactment of revised Employment Act

The Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) opposes retailers' request to delay the implementation of changes to Employment Act.
By: | December 22, 2022

The MTUC has called on the government not to delay enforcement of the amended Employment Act due to pressure from the retail industry.

Effendy Abdul Ghani, President of the MTUC, said another postponement should not be allowed because employers had been given enough time to prepare for the changes. “The issue of another deferment does not arise,” he said, adding that the changes would benefit both employers and employees as well as the economy, reported FMT.

Under the amended Act, maternity leave will be extended to 98 days, working hours will be reduced from 48 to 45 hours a week, and overtime payments will be extended to employees earning up to RM4,000 (US$911) each month.

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Five retail associations in Malaysia had previously expressed concern about the impact of the amendments on their industry, which they claimed had only begun to recover since the pandemic. A second deferral is being requested, citing labour shortages, supply chain interruptions, inflation, and overtime costs as reasons for delaying the implementation of the amended Employment Act.

The groups also opposed the 45-hour work week, saying the 48-hour work week was ideal due to the ongoing labour shortage. They also said providing women with 98 days of maternity leave would disrupt work efficiency and put them at a disadvantage in terms of employability.