New Maternity and Paternity Regulations to Take Effect in Malaysia

The recently passed Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 in Malaysia marks a historic milestone for protecting employees’ rights to time off. The new laws significantly increase paid maternity leave while introducing employer-paid paternity leave in Malaysia – an unprecedented development.

Though its final enactment and effective date remain uncertain, it’s sure that this will be another significant step towards providing Malaysian workers with more holistic security.

Key Details

Following are the amendments regarding maternity and paternity regulations to take effect in Malaysia in the bill that we know of:

Paternity Leave

Married fathers can now enjoy up to seven days of employer-paid paternity leave thanks to the new Bill. This opportunity is open only for male employees who have been with their current company for a minimum of one year and will be available five times at most in their lifetime!

Maternity Leave

The new Bill is a significant win for expecting mothers. It provides an additional 38 days of maternity leave and prevents employers from dismissing any pregnant or post-pregnant employee due to their circumstances; there must be clear proof that the termination was due to breach or misconduct and not related to pregnancy itself.

EA’s Scope

From 2023, all working mothers in Malaysia will be eligible for paid maternity leave and job protection.

This amendment to the Employment Act (EA) broadens coverage to include more workers, including those who do not earn less than 2,000 ringgit per month or do not work in designated occupations.

Those with a monthly income equal to or greater than 4,000 Malaysian Ringgit are exempt from the EA’s overtime pay and termination provisions.

Along with Paternity and Maternity, other areas have significantly changed.

Here’s an overview:

Statutory Working Hours

The Amendment Bill has just been signed, bringing an essential change in the average working hours per week.

Rather than clocking up to 48 hours of work each week, employees will now be capped at 45 – any additional time spent on the job is subject to overtime rates that are one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate.

Sick Leave

Employees can now look forward to increased protection through the Bill, which allows them plenty of paid time off in case they are hospitalized.

In addition, those employed with their organization for a period beyond 14 days will be eligible for an additional 22 days’ worth of Paid Sick Leave per calendar year – amounting to 82 total leave days! This is excellent news and provides much-needed security during difficult times.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Employees now have the right to request a flexible work arrangement tailored to their needs, such as changes in hours or part-time work.

Employers must respond within 60 days of receiving this request and provide documented reasons if they decide not to accept it – giving greater peace of mind when balancing family commitments with daily life at work.

Foreign Employees

Businesses in Malaysia need to be aware of the serious consequences at stake when hiring foreign employees.

Without approval from the Director-General of Labour, employers can face hefty fines of up to MYR 100,000 and even imprisonment for a maximum period of five years! Thus, companies must get authorized before taking on overseas personnel.

What’s Next?

Organizations should stay abreast of the international labor regulations outlined in this new Bill and ensure that their internal policies are up to date to remain compliant. Competent managers will proactively review these updates while implementing them into timekeeping protocols and personnel operations. If you need more information regarding international employment compliance knowledge, visit Global People Strategist and schedule a demo today.

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