MTUC criticises companies refusing to reduce work hours

22 Feb 2023 07:32pm

SHAH ALAM - The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the Human Resource Ministry to take strict action against employers avoiding compliance to the Employment Act 1955.

Its Secretary-General Kamarul Baharin Mansor said the enforcement of the Act on Jan 1 benefits all employees regardless of rank or salary, but there have been reports of employers who do not care about the amendment to the Act that includes the reduction of working hours from 48 hours per week to 45 hours per week.

“Various tactics and tricks were used by employers to deny employee benefits.

“Unfortunately there are companies that informed their employees they could not reduce working hours as they have not received written instructions from the Labour Department,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kamarul said there were three amendments to work hours and the employers should not change those work hours by deceiving employees.

He said companies had also eliminated certain benefits following the reduction of working hours.

“The amendment of working hours to 45 hours per week can be made only in three ways namely, delaying start times, earlier time off, or reduced working hours for a certain day.

“There are companies that add rest time to allow the same return time. Companies also maintained a four-day workweek shift to 12 hours a day by defining rest no longer as work hours,” he explained.

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He emphasised that all employees must make a claims towards the employer if they work overtime.

Kamarul said after the Act was enforced, overtime hours must be different compared to before the amendment.

“Workers could claim overtime of three hours per week at the nearest Labour Department.

“The employers’ associations must play a role by advising companies to obey the amendments of the Employment Act 1955,” he said.

Kamarul called for the Labour Department to conduct periodic audits of all companies to ensure their compliance with the Act.

“The government can order companies to conduct self-audits and must send the report to the nearest Labour Department to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the amendments to the Employment Act 1955,” he explained.