Employees in Malaysia who want to work from home on a flexible basis can apply for flexible working arrangement (FWA) with their employers soon, says Human Resources Deputy Minister Datuk Awang Hashim.
According to Bernama, Awang said this is made possible under the amendment to the Employment Act 1955 which will come into force on September 1.
He said the FWA application must be made in writing and can cover changes in working hours, working days and also the place of work.
“When the application is made, the employer must give an answer to the employee in writing whether to agree or reject the application within 60 days and must give reasons why the application was rejected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Awang also said the ministry is conducting studies on working four days a week to ensure that employers did not face severe effects if it was 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. If there are employers who are affected, we will take into account the study to discuss further in the ministry,” he said.
In April, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Soh Thian Lai said most of the employers in the country, especially the SMEs are not ready for a 4-day work week.
Soh also said the 4-day work week will increase the cost of wages. Using 24/7 factory operations as an example, Soh said any work performed beyond the 4 days would mean more overtime.
Work life balance in Malaysia
The number of Malaysians working remotely has dropped by 18% to 51% compared to last year, but more than half of them want employers to offer flexible work arrangements, a survey found.
Ranstad, a human resources solutions agency said that 9 out of 10 respondents “took matters into their own hands” to improve their work-life balance.
Some 44% of them were working flexible time slots while 33% worked remotely more frequently. Meanwhile, 23% said they worked overtime less to ensure better work-life balance.
The survey also found that 70% of respondents marked work-life balance as among the top factors when it came to the ideal job, while 74% of respondents said attractive salary and benefits were important for them.
The survey involved more than 2,500 Malaysians and was conducted in January.