The amendments to reduce working hours from 48 to 45 hours will help safeguard the welfare of workers and provide flexible working hours.
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According to The Star, the amendments to the Employment Act to see weekly working hours reduced from 48 to 45 hours will be enforced from 1 September 2022.
Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim said the amendments serve to safeguard the welfare of workers and provide flexibility in working hours, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.
The amendments also allow employees to utilise a flexible work arrangement.
Under the new rule, employees are allowed to apply to carry out work according to the suitability of working hours, working days or workplaces, including working from home for emergency situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier in June, Malay Mail reported that Awang said employees can apply for Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA) with their respective employers under the amendment to the Employment Act 1955.
When the application is made, the employer must give an answer to the employee in writing whether the application is rejected or accepted within 60 days. If the employer chooses to reject the application, they must provide reasons to explain the rejection.
Awang also added that there’s no proposal or engagement to set four working days a week at the ministry level when Senator Md Nasir Hashim asked about the government’s stance on four working days a week, especially in the private sector.
Nevertheless, the move to reduce working hours might rehabilitate Malaysia’s reputation as one of the countries with the longest weekly work hours and the fourth most overworked city in the world.