Employees Can Start Asking Their Bosses For Flexible Working Arrangement From 1 Sept

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Awang Hashim said employers will then have 60 days to make an official reply.

Cover image via Bernama/New Straits Times & New Straits Times

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Employees who want to work on a flexible basis can apply for Flexible Working Arrangement (FWA) with their respective employers under the amendment to Employment Act 1955, which will come into force on 1 September

According to Bernama, the FWA application must be made in writing and the flexible arrangement includes changes in working hours, working days, and also the location of work, said Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Awang Hashim.

Employers must give an answer to the employee within 60 days in writing whether they agree or reject the application, and their reasons why it was rejected.

He said this during the Northern Region Industrial Harmony Symposium programme that was held to improve the relationship between employers and employees in safeguarding industrial harmony as well as increase the level of legal compliance yesterday, 23 June.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Awang Hashim.

Image via Human Resources Online

Additionally, Awang said a study has also been conducted regarding a four-day work week arrangement to ensure that employers do not face severe effects if it is implemented in the future

"Studies are still being conducted and so far, we have seen that the four working days have not reduced employee productivity," he said.

"If there are employers who are affected, we will take into account the study to discuss further in the ministry."

A study done by Qualtrics found that six in 10 employees in Malaysia actually prefer flexibility over a four-day work week

New Straits Times quoted the study as saying that 62% of Malaysians prefer to work whenever they want, compared to 48% who prefer a shorter work week.

Employees defined flexibility in terms of having control of the hours they want to work, having the ability to work from any location, choosing the days they work, or being measured by performance instead of hours.

Respondents believed either arrangement could improve work-life balance, mental wellbeing, productivity, and make them feel more loyal to their employers, even if it means taking a pay cut.

A Johor representative recently suggested a four-day work week as the state plans to revert its off days to Saturday and Sunday:

Amendments to Employment Act 1955 has also meant longer maternity and paternity leaves for government servants:

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