The primary legislation governing labor affairs in Malaysia is the Employment Act of 1955.

This act outlines basic terms and conditions, primarily related to monetary aspects, for specific groups of workers:

  • Any employee earning a monthly wage below RM2000.00.

  • Employees engaged in manual labor, which encompasses artisans, apprentices, transport operators, supervisors or overseers of manual laborers, individuals employed on vessels, and even domestic workers, regardless of whether their monthly wages exceed RM2000.00.

Paid maternity leave :

60 days

Normal work hours :

Not exceeding eight hours in one day or 48 hours in one week

Paid holiday :

There must be a minimum of 11 official public holidays in a given year, which includes five mandatory holidays: National Day, the Birthday of the Yang Dipertuan Agong (King), the Birthday of the Ruler/Federal Territory Day, Labour Day, and Malaysia Day. Additionally, any day declared as a public holiday under section 8 of the Holiday Act 1951 must also be observed.

Paid annual leave for employees:

Less than two years of service

8 days

Two or more but less than five years of service

12 days

Over five years of service

16 days

*Minimum paid annual leave to be provided for employees

Paid sick leave per calendar year:

Less than two years of service

14 days

Two or more but less than five years of service

18 days

Over five years of service

22 days

Where hospitalisation is necessary

Up to 60 days (inclusive of the paid sick leave entitlement stated above)

Payment for overtime work:

Normal working days

One-and-a-half times the hourly rate of pay

Rest days

Two times the hourly rate of pay

Public holidays

Three times the hourly rate of pay

Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966

  • The act forbids children from being employed in close proximity to dangerous or toxic substances.

  • Children under the age of 15 and young persons between 15 and under 18 years old who are employed are restricted from working more than 6 days within any consecutive 7-day period.

  • Children are only permitted to work a maximum of 6 hours per day, while young persons are allowed to work for a maximum of 7 hours per day.

  • Children or young persons are not allowed to be employed in any job that goes against the regulations set forth in the Factories and Machinery Act of 1967, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1994, or the Electricity Supply Act of 1990. Additionally, they cannot be employed in any work that involves underground tasks.

Employment (Restriction) Act 1968

  • Non-Malaysian citizens must acquire a valid work permit prior to being employed within the country.

  • Employment without a valid work permit is considered illegal according to the Immigration Act of 1966.

Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994

  • This legislation establishes a framework aimed at ensuring the safety, health, and welfare of all Malaysian workers and safeguarding others from risks associated with work activities.

  • Section 15 outlines employer responsibilities, including maintaining safe plant and systems, providing information, instruction, training, and supervision to ensure workplace safety and health.

  • Section 16 mandates employers to formulate workplace safety and health policies and regularly update them to reflect changes and best practices in the business environment.

  • The Safety and Health Policy serves to illustrate the company’s dedication to ensuring safety and health in the workplace, with all relevant safety and health issues addressed in the policy.

Factories and Machinery Act 1967

  • Provides health and safety protection for all factory workers, irrespective of gender.

  • The act’s jurisdiction extends to all factories.

Minimum Wages Order 2018

  • The Minimum Wages Order was initially enforced on January 1, 2013, with the most recent revision occurring on November 28, 2018.

  • Minimum wages refer solely to basic wages, excluding any allowances or additional payments.

MINIMUM WAGES RATE (As per Guidelines on the implementation of the Minimum Wages Order 2018 [P.U (A) 265/2018])




Number of days worked in a week




RM 1,100

RM 5.29




  • Both local and foreign employees under a contract of service with an employer are entitled to receive minimum wages.

  • The Minimum Wages Policy extends to employees compensated through piece-rates, tonnage, task, trip, or commission.

  • Domestic servants (e.g., maids, cooks, guards, gardeners, and personal drivers) and apprentices undergoing a training period of no less than two years are exempt from minimum wage coverage.

Minimum Retirement Age Act 2012

  • The minimum retirement age for both civil servants and private sector employees in Malaysia has been raised from 55 to 60.

  • Employees are not prohibited from opting for early retirement if their contract of service or collective agreement allows for it.

  • Any employer found guilty of compelling an employee to retire before reaching the age of 60 will face a fine of 10,000 ringgits under the new law.

  • However, employees are still permitted to retire earlier than age 60 if their contract of service or collective agreement permits such a decision.

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