#Human Resources #Employer

Employers Ask For Help Implementing Flexi Work

Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab Khalil
Jun 29, 2022 at 9:40 PM

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has requested that the government support businesses in transitioning to flexible work arrangements (FWA).

It comes after Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim said that employees could begin applying for FWA to their employers on September 1, when the revision to the Employment Act 1955 goes into effect.

According to the official, applications for FWA must be filed in writing and must include changes in working hours, working days, and where they intend to work.


The challenges with Flexible Work Arrangement

Prior to these amendments, MEF President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman identified a range of issues with the implementation of FWA, including:

  • Top management's lack of commitment

  • Management faces difficulty adjusting to the latest working models that include FWA.

  • Employee disengagement may cause decreased productivity and a greater turnover rate.

  • Information or data that is confidential could be compromised.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act compliance is difficult to ensure.

  • Building trust between managers and staff is challenging.

  • To prevent situations where other workers view the practice as unfair, ensure that FWA is available to all employees.

  • Due to the nature of their businesses, most organisations in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors cannot wholly integrate remote working and FWA for their employees.


What the government can do to help employers

The MEF president advises the government to take into account the following suggestions to address these organisational challenges:

  • Clearly define the rights and responsibilities of organisations, including:

    • How to decide whether to grant FWA to employees, 

    • How to reject their applications, 

    • What happens when employers don't comply with FWA requests, and 

    • How to appeal, if necessary.

  • Provide flexibility and, if necessary, reduce some rules that could limit a company's ability to implement a particular type of FWA.

  • Conduct awareness campaigns about FWA to inform employers about how the agreements might fulfil their needs as a business and a plan to recruit and keep talent.

  • Provide clear information and raise awareness about FWA compliance and governance, especially safety and health, good practices, and work-related incidents that occur when on FWA.

  • Review the Employment Act of 1955's current regulations to include provisions on working hours, holidays, rest time, salaries, and overtime to support FWAs models.

  • The decision to approve an FWA in an organisation is made at the head of the department's discretion, thus, HR needs to be knowledgeable to create an FWA policy that outlines the FWA's eligibility, expectations, and obligation.

  • Introduce tax measures that go beyond software and cover hardware purchases that allow for FWAs for employees.


Before making changes to the way existing systems function, Datuk Dr Syed Hussain noted that it is worth noting that businesses differ in terms of their structure and operations. The MEF president remarked that not all business processes could change, nor can they all transform. FWAs can only be carried out once these issues have been understood.

He added that on various occasions, some company sectors could be flexible while others could not. The specific business's circumstances and the industry are truly what will ultimately determine the choice.


Source: Human Resources Director