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Key amendments to the Employment Act 1955 effective from 1 September 2022

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

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With effect from 1 Sept 2022, the amendments to the Employment Act 1955 ("EA 1955") will come into force and the key amendments to the EA 1955 are:

EA 1955

Employment Amendment Act 2022


​Changes in the first schedule

(Scope of employees being affected)

Currently, the EA 1955 only applies to employees who: ​

  • earn less than RM 2,000 per month; or

  • regardless of income, are employed as manual labourers or supervisors of manual labourers; or

  • fall within certain categories such as those working on sea vessels, domestic servants etc.

​Apply to all employees irrespective of wages with exception on the following specific sections being applicable to employees earning less than RM 4,000 per month only

  • Overtime

(i) work on rest days

(ii) work outside of normal working hours

(iii) work on public holidays

(iv) work on holidays on half working days

  • Shift work allowance

  • Termination, lay-off and retirement benefits


Maximum weekly working hours

48 hours

45 hours


Sick leave & hospitalisation leave

Utilisation of regular sick leave benefits when using the 60 days of hospitalisation

60 days of paid hospitalisation leave + 14-22 days of paid sick leave


Maternity leave

60 days

98 days


Pregnant employees

Prohibited from terminating pregnant employees or employees who are suffering from illness arising from the pregnancy unless there is:

  • a willful breach of a condition of the contract of service

  • misconduct; or

  • the company is no longer in business


Paternity leave

7 days of paid paternity leave per birth if the 2 pre-conditions are fulfilled:

  • under the same employer for at least 12 months

  • notified his employer at least 30 days prior to the expected confinement


Flexible working arrangements

Application of flexible work arrangements with their employers.

Employer has to state the ground of refusal of the application.


Foreign employees

To obtain consent from the Director - General of Labour's before employing foreign workers.

(Failure to do so : RM 100K fine and/or 5 years in prison)


Notice of sexual harassment

Employers to exhibit clearly the notice on sexual harassment at all times.



Director General of Labour has the right to inquire and make orders on discrimination disputes between employers and employees.

(Failure to do so will be subjected to fine of not exceeding RM 50K and daily fine of not exceeding RM 1K in case of continuing offence)


Presumption of employment

Without a written contract of service project based workers (i.e. Freelancer/Independent contractor) are presumed to be employees, unless proven otherwise.


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