The Minister of Human Resources has, by way of Gazette Notification [P.U,(B) 368/2022], appointed 1 September 2022 as the date on which the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 (“the Amendment Act”) will come into operation. The Employment (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2022 [P.U.(A) 262/2022] (“Amendment Order”) gazetted on 15 August 2022 will also come into operation on the same day.
Some of the salient changes made to the Employment Act 1955 (“the Act”) through the Amendment Act and the Amendment Order include the following:
The Amendment Order amends the First Schedule to expand the scope of application of the Act to any person who has entered into a contract of service. However, sections 60(3), 60A(3), 60C(2A), 60D(3) and 60D(4) and 60(J) of the Act (“Excluded Sections
”) will not apply to employees whose wages exceed RM 4,000 a month unless these employees fall within the ambit of Covered Employees. The Excluded Sections relate to working on a rest day, overtime payments, statutory entitlement to shift allowances, working on a public holiday and statutory entitlement to termination and lay-off benefits.
The amendments to the Act contain some welcome added protection for employees.
The impact of the amendments to the First Schedule is significant. Previously, save for the maternity protection provision and the requirement for inquiry into complaints of sexual harassment, minimum terms and conditions of employment as provided for under the Act were statutorily required to be provided by employers to employees falling within the scope of the Act only. Insofar as employees falling outside the scope of the Act were concerned, their terms and conditions of employment were largely subject to contract (barring other statutory requirements under other employment statutes). With the expansion of the First Schedule, all employees regardless of salary earned or type of work performed will enjoy added protection under law.
Employers are advised to review and revise their terms and conditions of employment to ensure compliance with the Act in respect of all its employees.
This commentary is prepared by Sara Lau (Partner) of the Employment Law Practice of Skrine.