On Monday (14 November), caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that 18 and 19 November shall be a public holiday so that Malaysians can travel back to their hometown to cast their votes.
However, it appears that some employers are requesting their employees to continue working on both these dates.
Responding to such situations, HR minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that employees should be given appropriate compensation according to the Employment Act 1995.
In a statement, Saravanan explained that the public holidays declared by Ismail Sabri were in accordance with Section 60D(1)(b) of the Employment Act 1955 and Section 8 of the Public Holidays Act 1951, thus employees can be given replacement leaves if they were made to work on public holidays.
“As a result, employers who tell their employees to work on 18 and 19 November should be given replacement leaves,”
“If there are no replacement leaves, then the employees who work during those dates are entitled to public holiday rates (triple pay),” Saravanan said.
Voting still priority
Nonetheless, the minister urged all employers to consider giving their employees ‘time off’ so that they have enough time to exercise their rights as citizens of Malaysia by casting their votes.
“The Ministry urges all employers in the private sector to permit employees to fulfil their responsibilities as voters by the provision under Subsection 25(1) of the Election Offenses Act 1954 (Act 5),” Saravanan said, reported Berita Harian.
“They (employers) need to discuss with employees the possibility of giving ‘time off’, substitution leave, or annual leave for that purpose.”
Meanwhile, he also said that employers who do not allow their employers to vote in GE15 can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed for a year under the law.