GOVERNMENT should take appropriate action if employers do not comply with the latest amendment to the Employment Act 1955 effective January 1.
One of the most important changes in the 1955 Labor Act was the reduction of the working week from 48 hours to 45 hours, including breaks.
The amendment was presented in Parliament by Datuk Seri M. Saravanan last August when he was still holding the position of Minister of Human Resources.
From my observation, many employees still do not know about the reduction of working time including rest time. In fact, no changes were made by their employers.
I receive many questions from employees who have been working five-and-a-half days a week, which means they work from Monday to Friday plus a half-day on Saturday, or employees who work full-time on Saturday every two weeks.
With this new law coming into force, an employee who works from 8 am to 5 pm has worked for nine hours a day.
If this employee works from Monday to Friday, then they have worked for 45 hours a week. If the employer wants this employee to work another half day on Saturday, then the company must pay overtime wages.
These working hours have been added because the employer believes that rest time is not included in the calculation of working hours.
I hope that the new Minister of Human Resources, V. Sivakumar ensures that the calculation of these working hours is followed in accordance with the announcement of the latest amendments to the Employment Act 1955.
Strict action should be taken against companies that do not comply with this new law. – MESSENGER
GEETHA ANBALAGAN, Kuala Lumpur
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