The weekly working hours as stated in the Employment Act will be reduced from 48 hours to 45 hours starting 1 September, says Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Awang Hashim.
According to The Star, he said the amendments were to safeguard the worker’s welfare and provide flexibility in working hours, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention.
The amendments will also allow employees to utilise a flexible work arrangement, where employees are allowed to apply to carry out work according to the suitability of working hours, working days or workplaces, including working from home for emergency situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
In June, Awang said employees who want to work from home on a flexible basis can apply for flexible working arrangements (FWA) with their employers.
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.
Meanwhile, Awang said the ministry has not received any proposal or engagement to set four working days a week.
According to a recent study carried out by Kisi, Kuala Lumpur was ranked third most overworked city in the world, while Dubai and Hong Kong took first and second place respectively.
The study ranked cities based on their success in promoting work-life balance to their citizens by comparing data on work intensity, institutional support, legislation, and liveability.
On the other end of the spectrum, Oslo, Bern and Helsinki were ranked in the top three cities for having the best work-life balance.
Nonetheless, this is not the first time KL was ranked poorly when it comes to work-life balance. The city was ranked fourth in 2019 and 2020, and eighth in 2021.
Do you think about this amendment to the Employment Act will improve the work-life balance of Malaysians? Share your thoughts!