Reduction of working hours from 48 to 45 hours and increase in overtime 

AS promised by Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar, the amendments to the Employment Act take effect today, and those earning RM4,000 per month are now entitled to an increase in overtime payments and a reduction in working hours from 48 to 45.

Before the amendment, only employees earning up to RM2,000 a month were entitled to overtime payments.

Under the old law, employees who worked more than 48 hours per week were entitled to overtime pay; however, under the new law, they will be entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 45 hours per week.

This is part of the implementation of the new changes in employment law via the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022.

The implementation is taking place despite appeals from a number of employers to the Government to postpone or gradually implement the new changes in employment law.

The changes include the reduction of the weekly working hours without overtime pay and entitle those earning up to RM4,000 to overtime pay. They are set to start on Jan 1, 2023.

Now, employees can also submit a written application for a flexible work arrangement, which can cover changes in working hours, working days, and also the place of work.

When such an application is made, the employer must respond to the employee in writing within 60 days, stating whether the application is accepted or rejected, and providing reasons for the rejection.

The Employment (Amendment) Act was passed in Parliament in March 2022 and was to come into effect on Sept 1, 2022, but was pushed to today to ensure that employer implementation goes smoothly.

Two weeks ago, Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri Low Kian Chuan said the Government should postpone the implementation because small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are still trying to recover while facing multiple issues, such as higher operating costs. — Jan 1, 2023

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