Many of us are still unclear about the legal status of part-timers, whether they are covered by statute or whether the terms and conditions of their employment are subject only to mutual agreement between them and their employers.
Part-time employees in Malaysia are protected by statute, specifically the Employment (Part-time Employees) Regulations 2010. The Regulations is part of the Employment Act 1955. This means that, other than the protection afforded to them under the 2010 Regulations, they are also protected by the Employment Act.
Aside from this, they may also be bound by the general terms and conditions of service of their employer.
Definition of "Part-Time Employee"
A part-time employee is a person engaged under a contract of service with an employer, whose hours of work is between 30% - 70% of that of a full-time employee with that same employer. A part-time employee may be engaged permanently or on a fixed-term contract basis.
A part-time employee must, therefore, have a proper contract of service. Merely asking them to fill up a form or contracting their services verbally, although having a legally-binding effect, may not be adequate if a dispute arises later.
Statutory Entitlements of a Part-Time Employee
An employee who is required to work in excess of his normal hours of work but does not exceed the normal hours of work of a full-time employee entitled to overtime pay of not less than his hourly rate of pay for each hour or part thereof.
If the part-time employee is required to work extra hours which exceed the normal hours of work of a full-time employee, he is entitled to overtime payment of not less than 1.5 times his hourly rate of pay for each hour or part thereof.
b) Public Holidays
Yes, a part-timer gets to enjoy Public Holidays too just like the rest of us! The law allows them to enjoy not less than seven (7) gazetted public holidays as follows:
- National Day
- King’s Birthday
- Birthday of the State Ruler
- Labour Day
- Any 3 other public holidays declared under the Holidays Act 1951
Source: The Balance Careers
If the part-timer is required to work on these Public Holidays, he will be entitled to payment at the following rates:
- For his normal hours of work: not less than twice his daily wages
- For overtime work on a public holiday: for hours not exceeding the normal working hours of a full-time employee, not less than twice his hourly rate; for hours exceeding the normal working hours of a full-time employee, not less than 3 times his hourly rate.
c) Annual Leave
Part-timers are entitled to annual leave as follows:
- Less than 2 years of service: not less than 6 days
- More than 2 but less than 5 years of service: not less than 8 days
- 5 years or more years of service: not less than 11 days
d) Sick Leave
- Less than 2 years of service: not less than 10 days
- More than 2 but less than 5 years of service: not less than 13 days
- 5 years or more years of service: not less than 15 days
e) Statutory Contributions
The wages of part-time employees are subject to EPF, SOCSO and EIS contributions.
f) Other Benefits
Part-timers may be given other benefits such as medical allowance, etc at the discretion of the Company. The rates may differ with full-time permanent employees.
g) Termination of Contract
The provisions for termination of contract under the Employment Act apply to part-time employees just like full-time employees. This means that for termination of contract for special reasons, due inquiry must still be conducted.
Any employer who denies the part-timer of the above entitlements have committed an offence and a breach of contract.
Are part-timers obliged to comply with the Company handbook?
Part-timers may be subject to terms and conditions of service which are applicable to full-time employees, such as confidentiality, disciplinary policies, health and safety rules.
About the Author
Tahirah Manesah Abu Bakar is a Human Resources expert with 22 years of experience in Human Resources and corporate legal work. She also holds a MSc in Management (by Research) specialising in constructive dismissal.
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