Hours Of Work To Be Observed By Companies During Fasting Month In Malaysia
During the fasting month of Ramadan, some companies prefer to observe shorter hours of work for Muslim employees as they may not be taking a break during normal hours of work.
So to all fellow Employers out there, here are some key points for your considerations:
- Whether Employees are allowed to work continuously without having a break
- If the employee is within the scope of the Employment Act 1955 S60A(1)(a) of the Employment Act 1955 provides that employees must be given a break of at least 30 minutes after every 5 consecutive hours of work. This means that if the hours of work are reduced and employees are not given a break of at least 30 minutes after 5 consecutive hours of work, it will be a breach of the above-mentioned section. This would remain a breach even if the employee consents to it. For employers who would like to pursue the reduction in hours of work and remain on the safer side of the law, we strongly encourage you to put forth a written application to the Director General of Labour. Since this is a fairly common practice, we strongly believe that the application will be approved. Attached herewith in Appendix 1 is a sample letter for your further action.
- If the employee is not within the scope of the Employment Act 1955, we recommend the issuance of a memorandum announcement to all employees notifying them of such a change.
- Since the normal hours of work is changed, the commencement of overtime hours may also be affected. Employers are advised to revisit the wordings used in individual contracts / handbooks to determine the commencement of overtime hours but as a general rule under the Employment Act 1955, overtime is payable after 8 hours of work.