KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — The government’s decision to defer the implementation of the amended Employment Act 1955 from Sept 1 to Jan 1, 2023, will allow employers to have more time to ensure that the implementation is carried out smoothly and properly.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman in a statement today said the implementation of the amended Act has to be done right as this would involve all employees in the private sector, which is estimated to be more than 10 million employees.

Hence, he said proper planning of the implementation of the amended Act will take time as the successful execution of any plan is in the details.

On Aug 26, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan announced that the enforcement of the Employment (Amendment) Act 1955 to provide for shorter working hours has been postponed to Jan 1 next year from its earlier scheduled date of Sept 1. 

Apart from reducing working hours from 48 to 45 hours per week, the amended law will also increase maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days and paternity leave from three days to seven days.

Syed Hussain said the amendments have huge cost implications up to the tune of RM110 billion per year to businesses, and it requires businesses to have policies and procedural guidelines devised for compliance.

“Industries are facing a shortage of about 1.2 million workers and the arrival of about 47,000 new foreign workers thus is far below,” he said.

He also expressed his appreciation for the proactive measures taken by the Human Resources Ministry to ensure that the application for foreign workers continues to be opened even though the system to process applications for new foreign workers was being revamped.

He said addressing the shortage of manpower has been vital for the recovery of the industries and granting the industry some space would help resolve the manpower shortages.

“The decision of the ministry will also boost investors’ confidence, both local and foreign, and maintain competitiveness,” he added.


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