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Paid Leave in Malaysia

Annual paid leave entitlement in Malaysia is determined based on the employee’s length of service. For employees with less than two years of service, they are entitled to 8 days of annual leave; for those with two to five years of service, the entitlement increases to 12 days; and for those with more than five years of service, the entitlement is 16 days per year.

Paid leave is an essential aspect of employee rights in Malaysia, ensuring that workers have access to various types of time off, including annual, sick, maternity, paternity, and more. Governed by the Employment Act of 1955, the amount of paid leave an individual receives is dependent on their length of employment and other specific requirements. As such, it’s crucial for both employees and employers to be aware of the different leave entitlements and how they are affected by factors such as job duration, contracts, and sectors.

Besides the mandatory annual leave, which varies depending on the years of service, other types of entitlements are also applicable. Paid maternity and paternity leave, for instance, offer support to new parents by allowing them to take time off work for family planning. Furthermore, allowances for sick and hospitalization leave aim to safeguard the health and well-being of employees, ensuring they have time to recover while still receiving financial stability.

As the world of work continues to evolve and transform, Malaysia’s labor policies must keep up with these changes and trends. As a result, employees should stay informed about any updated guidelines, legislation, and FAQs concerning their paid leave entitlements. Making sure that workplace dynamics are favorable for all parties is vital in promoting a healthy and fruitful working environment in Malaysia.

Key Takeaways

  • Malaysia’s paid leave entitlements include annual, sick, maternity, paternity, and more, depending on specific factors.
  • Employment length, contracts, and sectors play a crucial role in determining the amount of leave an employee is entitled to.
  • Staying informed about recent changes, workplace dynamics, and regulations is essential to maintain a thriving working environment in Malaysia.

Understanding Paid Leave

In Malaysia, paid leave is governed by the Employment Act 1955, which outlines the various types of leave entitlements for employees. Understanding these entitlements is essential for both employees and employers to manage their human resources effectively.

Paid leave in Malaysia can be broadly divided into several categories, including annual leave, public holidays, and other statutory leaves.

Public holidays are another form of paid leave in Malaysia. As per Section 60D (1) of the Employment Act 1955, employees are entitled to paid holidays on eleven gazetted public holidays and any other day appointed as a public holiday under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951.

Apart from these, the Employment Act 1955 also establishes six different types of statutory leave to which employees are entitled. These can include sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, and compassionate leave, among others. It is crucial for employers and human resources professionals to be familiar with these leave entitlements to ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Understanding paid leave in Malaysia requires a thorough knowledge of the Employment Act 1955 and related legislation. Employers and employees should be well-informed about the various types of leave entitlements and the relevant criteria for eligibility to maintain a compliant and efficient workplace environment.

Annual and Public Holidays Leave

In Malaysia, employees are entitled to both annual leaves and paid public holidays. This legislated time off allows workers to enjoy a work-life balance and recharge. The Malaysian government has specified the minimum number of annual leaves and recognized public holidays under the Employment Act 1955 and the Holidays Act 1951, respectively.

Regarding annual leave, the entitlement varies depending on the duration of service: 

  • Employees with less than two years of employment are entitled to 8 days of annual leave
  • Employees for 2 to 5 years are entitled to 12 days annually
  • Employees with over 5 years of service are entitled to 16 days of annually
  • If the employment period is less than 12 months, the leave entitlement will be calculated proportionally

Public holidays form another essential aspect of the leave policy. The Holidays Act 1951 requires employers to provide paid holidays on 11 gazetted public holidays, which include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Chinese New Year (2 days)
  • Federal Territory Day
  • Labour Day
  • Wesak Day
  • National Day
  • Malaysia Day

Various other public holidays depending on the specific state or territory
It is crucial to note that public holidays are not part of the annual leave entitlement, meaning that employees can enjoy these paid days off without utilizing their annual leave.

Malaysian employees are entitled to a minimum number of paid annual leaves and public holidays, ensuring they receive adequate rest and time away from work. By adhering to the country’s regulations outlined in the Employment Act 1955 and the Holidays Act 1951, employers and employees can foster a balanced work environment that promotes productivity and employee wellbeing.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

In Malaysia, both maternity and paternity leave are recognized statutory entitlements provided to eligible employees. The Employment Act (EA) 1955 covers the provisions for these leaves, ensuring that expecting parents can avail necessary time off work following the birth of their child.

Maternity leave is available to all female employees in Malaysia, with recent amendments to the law expanding the coverage to include all employees, regardless of their wages. As per the Employment Act, eligible employees are entitled to a minimum period of maternity leave. During this leave, female employees receive paid maternity leave, thus ensuring financial security during their confinement period. The duration of paid maternity leave is based on different factors, and information on the exact number of days can be found in the Employer’s Guide to Maternity Leave.

Paternity leave, on the other hand, has also seen some changes in recent years. Malaysia has implemented expanded provisions for paternity leave, effective from January 1, 2023, ensuring that male employees receive the right to take time off work following the birth of a child. More details about these expanded provisions can be found in the Society for Human Resource Management article.

In compliance with Part IX (Maternity Protection) of the EA, female employees are protected from termination during their maternity leave period. Section 60E(1) of the act clearly states that any dismissal during this period is considered unlawful. Furthermore, Section 60F(3) ensures that the maternity allowance is paid to the employee during the confinement period, safeguarding the financial well-being of the family during this time.

Malaysia’s maternity and paternity leave provisions have evolved with time, ensuring that both male and female employees receive the necessary legal and financial support to manage their work-life balance effectively. The Employment Act serves as the guiding document for these matters, with recent amendments extending provisions to a larger employee base.

Sick and Hospitalisation Leave

In Malaysia, employees are entitled to both sick leave and hospitalisation leave. Sick leave is granted when an employee is ill but does not require hospitalisation, while hospitalisation leave covers instances when employees need to be admitted to a hospital.

The number of paid sick days an employee is entitled to depends on their length of service. 

  • Employees who have worked for a period of 1 to 2 years are entitled to 14 days of paid sick leave
  • Employees who have worked for 2 to 5 years, number increases to 18 days
  • Employees for over 5 years, employees are entitled to 22 days of paid sick leave.

When hospitalisation is necessary, employees are entitled to an additional 60 days of leave annually. 

  • Employees with 1-2 years of service can have up to 74 days
  • Employees with 2-5 years of service can have up to 78 days
  • Employees with over 5 years of service can have up to 82 days annually

In order to claim sick or hospitalisation leave, employees may be required to provide proof from a registered medical practitioner in the form of a Medical Certificate (MC). The MC should be obtained from a panel doctor, who is a registered healthcare provider approved by the employer.

It is essential for employees to know their rights and entitlements when it comes to sick and hospitalisation leave in Malaysia. Employers are also responsible for providing accurate information and ensuring that the leave policies are adhered to in a fair and professional manner.

Employment Contract and Salary Matters

In Malaysia, an employment contract outlines the terms and conditions between an employer and an employee. It should cover essential aspects such as the employee’s job scope, working hours, and compensation package. According to the Employment Act, the law applies to both manual and non-manual workers earning below a specific threshold, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and contract employment.

An employee’s monthly salary typically consists of their basic pay and other associated allowances. The ordinary rate of pay is the employee’s standard hourly wage, which should be outlined clearly in the employment contract. This rate helps determine the employee’s monthly rate of pay, calculated by multiplying their ordinary rate by the total number of hours worked in a month.

Payroll plays a significant role in ensuring timely and accurate salary disbursement to all employees. Employers are required to keep detailed records of employees’ wages and deductions. These records should include components such as basic salary, overtime pay, allowances, and statutory contributions, allowing for transparency in the employee-employer relationship.

Employers and employees should familiarize themselves with these entitlements to promote a healthy work-life balance and a productive working environment.

Special Types of Leave

Apart from the mandatory leave types in Malaysia, there are several special types of leave that employers may choose to offer to their employees to accommodate personal needs and circumstances. These optional leaves can help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and feel more valued by the organization.

  • Unpaid leave is a type of leave where an employee can take time off work without pay. This could be for various reasons, such as personal matters, family emergencies, or extended holidays. Employers have the discretion to approve or deny unpaid leave requests.
  • Bereavement leave provides employees with paid time off to attend funeral services and mourn the loss of a close family member. Although not legally required in Malaysia, many organizations offer bereavement leave as part of their employee benefits package.

  • Emergency leave may be granted when an employee encounters unexpected situations that require their immediate attention, such as accidents or natural disasters. This leave is typically provided on a case-by-case basis and may be paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s policies.

  • Marriage leave is an optional benefit that allows employees to take time off for their wedding. This leave is granted in addition to annual leave entitlements, and the duration of the leave may vary depending on the employer’s policies.

  • Parental leave goes beyond mandatory maternity and paternity leave and includes additional time off for adopting or fostering a child, as well as time off for parents to attend school meetings or other childcare-related appointments. Eligibility and duration depend on the company’s policies and discretion.

  • Compassionate leave is granted when an employee faces a personal or family crisis, such as the illness of a loved one. Like emergency leave, compassionate leave can be paid or unpaid and is subject to the employer’s approval.

  • Study leave allows employees to pursue further education or professional development courses. This type of leave can be paid or unpaid, and the duration granted will vary depending on the employer’s policies and the employee’s individual circumstances.

While these special types of leave are not required by law in Malaysia, offering them can enhance employee satisfaction and improve overall working conditions. Employers should consider incorporating these leave options into their company policies to create a more supportive and inclusive workplace.

Leave Regulations per Sector

In Malaysia, the legal entitlement to paid annual leave varies depending on the sector and the employee’s years of service. Both the private and public sectors follow regulations outlined in the Employment Act for granting annual leaves.

Private Sector: Private sector employees in Malaysia are entitled to a minimum amount of paid annual leave based on their length of service with a company. Employees with less than 2 years of service receive 8 days of annual leave, those with 2 to 5 years of service are entitled to 12 days, while employees with more than 5 years of service accrue 16 days of leave time.

Public Sector: Employees in the public sector are also entitled to paid annual leave; however, the regulations may differ slightly from the private sector. Public sector employees are eligible for paid holidays on eleven gazetted holidays under the legislation. Additionally, Malaysian authorities can announce extra public holidays for a specific year under the Holidays Act 1951.

Hiring in Malaysia: Prospective employers need to be aware of the statutory leave regulations in the country. When hiring in Malaysia, it is essential to outline the leave policies in the employment contract to avoid potential disputes in the future. These policies, determined by industry practice and policy, can vary among companies and sectors.

Both private and public sector organizations in Malaysia need to abide by federal guidelines for paid annual leave according to an employee’s length of service. Companies should clearly outline their leave policies in employment contracts and adhere to legal requirements when hiring in Malaysia.

Additional Information

In Malaysia, employees are entitled to various types of paid leave under the Employment Act 1955. The leave entitlement depends on the duration of employment. For instance, an employee with less than two years of service is entitled to 8 days of annual leave, whereas one with 2-5 years is allotted 12 days, and those with over 5 years of service are granted up to 16 days of annual leave.

When it comes to sick leave, employees are eligible, given that they receive treatment from a registered medical practitioner. Furthermore, sick leave entitlement is based on the length of service, with a longer tenure, resulting in more days of leave.

Female employees are entitled to maternity leave, typically lasting for 60 consecutive days. This type of leave is granted for 14 weeks for government employees and 12 weeks for workers in the private sector. Additionally, paternity leave is another benefit offered to male employees.

Besides the compulsory leaves mentioned above, Malaysian employers may offer optional leaves such as annual leave, compassionate leave, and sabbatical leave. These leaves can be pro-rated and subject to negotiation as per the contract of service. Employees should ensure they are aware of their specific leave types and the provisions made for them by their employers.

Taking leave on rest days or public holidays is subject to specific regulations in Malaysian labour law. For example, working on a rest day can result in overtime compensation, and employers are obliged to pay the employees based on predetermined rates. Furthermore, employees are required to give advance notice to their employer if they plan to take these leaves.

Under Section 60D(1), employers in Malaysia are required to grant paid holidays for specific public holidays such as Deepavali, National Day, and Labour Day, among others. However, this requirement may vary for manual workers and other employees subject to different working hours or employment terms.

In the event of any disputes regarding leave entitlements, employees should consult a lawyer or seek assistance from an expert in Malaysian labour law. A reputable platform like A Job Thing can offer guidance on various topics related to employee rights and labour law.

It is essential for both employers and employees to understand and adhere to the leave entitlement provisions outlined in Malaysia’s labour law. This not only ensures that employees receive their entitled benefits but also fosters a healthy working environment based on mutual trust and respect.

Workplace Dynamics

A healthy work environment is crucial for maintaining employee morale and enhancing productivity. One aspect that plays a significant role in ensuring this balance is offering appropriate paid leave policies. In Malaysia, employees are legally entitled to a minimum of 8-16 days of annual leave, depending on their duration of service. Providing adequate paid leave allows employees to take necessary breaks to unwind and recharge.

Productivity and work-life balance are deeply intertwined. When employees have appropriate time off, they can prevent burnout, which can, in turn, result in higher quality work, increased efficiency, and stronger work relationships. Research suggests that employees who have a positive work-life balance are not only more productive but also more motivated and committed to their organization.

Number and Rate of Occupational Injuries, GDP Growth and Labour Productivity per Hour Worked Growth
Number and Rate of Occupational Injuries, GDP Growth and Labour Productivity per Hour Worked Growth - Department of Statistics, Malaysia

To address burnout and maintain productivity, it is essential to understand the unique needs and circumstances of the workforce. Companies in Malaysia can benefit from implementing tailored leave policies to cater to the diverse backgrounds and individual requirements of their employees. This can include offering various types of leaves, such as parental, medical, or sabbatical leaves, in addition to the legally mandated annual leave.

An essential aspect of navigating workplace dynamics is to foster open communication between employees and management. Encouraging regular feedback and transparency ensures that employees feel heard and valued and can contribute to the creation and revision of leave policies that cater to their specific needs.

Addressing workplace dynamics through appropriate paid leave policies and open communication can contribute significantly to increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and reduced burnout rates. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is integral to the success and sustainability of any organization in Malaysia’s highly competitive business landscape.

Recent Changes and Trends

In recent years, Malaysia has been working on improving the work-life balance for its workforce. The government has introduced several amendments to the Employment Act, focusing on paid leave provisions, among other changes. In particular, the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 has brought significant revisions that cater to the diverse needs of employees in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Labuan.

One of the notable amendments is the increase in paid maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days, a long-awaited enhancement that reflects the government’s commitment to supporting working mothers. This change aligns with the objectives of the Malaysian Budget 2020, which aimed to create a more family-friendly working environment.

Furthermore, the adjustments to the Employment Act also impacted the sick leave policies. The amendments removed a provision limiting the total number of sick leave days to 60, including any hospitalization. As a result, employees can now fully utilize their 60 days of sick leave benefits if they are hospitalized, without detracting from their regular sick leave allowances.

Another significant change to the act is the reduction in weekly work hours for employees from 48 to 45 hours, as mentioned in the Attorney General document. This modification aims to improve work-life balance and reduce burnout among the Malaysian workforce.

In terms of sexual harassment issues at the workplace, the act established stricter requirements for employers. Employers must prominently display a notice on sexual harassment at the workplace, and failure to inquire into complaints or address such issues may result in a fine increase from RM10,000 to RM50,000.

In conclusion, the Malaysian government, through these amendments to the Employment Act, has taken steps to address the concerns of employees in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Labuan. Businesses should be aware of the changes introduced and adjust their practices accordingly to create a supportive and well-balanced working environment for their employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Malaysia, paid annual leave is calculated based on an employee's length of service. Employees are entitled to 8 days of annual leave if they have been employed for 1 to 2 years, 12 days if employed between 2 to 5 years, and 16 days if employed for more than 5 years.

Paternity leave in Malaysia is not mandated by federal law. However, some companies may provide it as part of their employee benefits. It is recommended that employees refer to their employment contract or consult their human resources department to understand their company's specific policies on paternity leave.

The Employment Act 1955 in Malaysia sets the minimum standards for leave entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave. It is applicable to employees in West Malaysia earning RM 2,000 or less or engaged in manual labor. Employers must adhere to these regulations when providing paid leave to their employees.

In Malaysia, employees are entitled to sick leave depending on their years of service. Those employed for less than two years receive 14 days of sick leave, while those employed between two to five years receive 18 days and those employed for more than five years are entitled to 22 days. These entitlements apply to medical leave without hospitalization. Hospitalization leave may be granted up to 60 days per year, inclusive of the regular sick leave days.

Weekends are usually not included in the calculation of unpaid leave days. Unpaid leave is typically calculated based on an employee's regular working days, excluding weekends. However, this may vary depending on the company's policy, and it is advisable for employees to refer to their employment contract or consult their HR department for clarification.

Employees in Malaysia are entitled to a minimum of 11 paid public holidays per year. These include national holidays such as New Year's Day, Labour Day, National Day, and Malaysia Day, as well as various state and religious holidays. Employers are required to provide paid leave for these public holidays as mandated by the country's labor laws.

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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