In a regular employment contract, an employee will find out about paid leave days, which includes holidays, sick leave, and the number of annual leaves they are entitled to. But an employment contract may not reflect what the Malaysian Employment Law provides.
Here are the paid leaves that an employee is entitled to in Malaysia:
1. Public holidays
According to Section 60D(1) of the Employment Act 1955, an employee is entitled to paid holidays on eleven of the gazetted public holidays (including National Day and Worker’s Day) and any other day appointed as public holiday under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951.
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951: “The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette or in such other manner as he thinks fit, appoint, in respect of Peninsular Malaysia, or the Federal Territory or, after consultation with the State Authority, in respect of a State, a day to be observed as a public holiday or a bank holiday in addition to, or in substitution for, any of the days mentioned in the Schedules and thereupon this Act shall, in Peninsular Malaysia, or in the Federal Territory, or in the State in respect of which a day is appointed to be observed as a holiday as aforesaid, be applicable to such day in the same manner as if the said day had been mentioned in the First Schedule or the Second Schedule, as the case may be.”
2. Maternity leave
Citing Part IX (Maternity Protection) of the Employment Act 1955, every female employee is entitled to not less than 60 consecutive days of paid maternity leave if she has worked at least 90 days for her current employer within the 4 months leading up to her confinement period.
During this period, the expecting mother is entitled to maternity allowance (same amount as ordinary monthly salary) that must be paid no later than 7th day of the month.
Number of weeks of paid maternity leave around the world. Credit: UNICEF
Even though the previous Malaysian government announced an increase in maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days for the private sector, which makes it on par with the government sector, the Employment Act has yet to be changed to reflect this.
This means private sector employers can only be encouraged to provide 90 days of maternity leave, as there won’t be a strict implementation of the new minimum period until the law is changed and taken into effect.
3. Annual leave
An employee is entitled to a certain number of paid annual leave days in addition to rest days and paid holidays. Citing Section 60E(1) from the Employment Act 1955, they are entitled to paid annual leave as stated below:
Employed less than 2 years: Not less than 8 days per year.
Employed between 2-5 years: Not less than 12 days per year.
Employed for more than 5 years: Not less than 16 days per year.
If an employee has just joined a company for less than a year, their number of leave days will be allocated according to the number of months they’ve been working with the company.
With the base 8 days as an example, it means they will receive 0.66 days per month served. If they’ve been working 6 months before the year end, they will receive 4 days of annual leave that year.
More about annual leave
4. Sick leave
With a medical certificate (MC) from a registered medical practitioner or officer, an employee is entitled to a certain number of paid sick leaves depending on how long they’ve been working for the company.
Employed less than 2 years: 14 days per year.
Employed between 2-5 years: 18 days per year.
Employed for more than 5 years: 22 days per year.
Section 60F(3) of the Employment Act 1955 states: ”The employer shall pay the employee his ordinary rate of pay for every day of such sick leave and an employee on a monthly rate of pay shall be deemed to have received his sick leave pay if he receives from his employer his monthly wages, without abatement in respect of the days on which he was on sick leave...”
Additionally, Section 60F(1)(bb) states that an employee is entitled to 60 days of paid sick leave in total per calendar year if they need hospitalisation.
An employee will need to have a medical certificate and inform their employer within 48 hours to make sure their sick leave is acknowledged. Otherwise, it will be considered as absent without permission.
Even though the Employment Act (in Peninsular Malaysia) ensures that employees will be paid for not working in these situations, there will be legal troubles for those who abuse these entitlements.
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This article is based on 5 types of leave in Malaysia (and if you will be paid when you take them) by K. Saraswathy