Employers are also not allowed to deduct their employees’ salary or impose any penalty for the time off to vote.
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Not only has both 18 and 19 November been announced as public holidays, employees have also been given explicit permission from the government to take leave off their work to go vote.
In fact, employers have no right to force their employees to stay at work, and those who do can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed for a year!
Employers Must Give Employees Time To Vote
In a statement, caretaker Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan urged all employers in the private sector to allow employees to fulfill their responsibilities as voters – in line with the provisions under subsection 25(1) of the Electoral Offences Act 1954 [Act 5].
In the same statement, the Ministry also suggested that the employers discuss with the employees regarding the option of giving ‘time-off’, alternating days off or replacing an annual leave for this purpose.
Employers can also take measures such as giving ‘time-off’ to employees who vote at nearby polling stations or providing aid to employees who must travel to vote at distant polling stations.
However, for employees who need more than one day of travel time to go to the polling station, it is recommended to take annual leave.
Employers Can Be Fined RM5,000 Or Imprisoned For One Year
It should be noted that employers are absolutely NOT ALLOWED to impose any penalty or deduct the wages of employees who are absent from work due to voting.
Any employer who does not comply with the provisions under subsection 25(1) of Act 5 can be prosecuted and fined RM5,000 or a year in prison if convicted.
READ MORE: Can You Post Your Votes On Social Media?
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.