In addition to being designated as public holidays on November 18 and 19, the administration has also granted its employees specific approval to take time off work to cast their ballots.
In fact, it is against the law for companies to make their staff stay at work against their will, and those who do risk an RM5,000 fine or a year in jail.
Employers must allow time for employees to vote
In a statement, caretaker Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan urged all employers in the private sector to allow employees to fulfill their responsibilities as voters – in line with the provisions under subsection 25(1) of the Electoral Offences Act 1954 [Act 5].
In the same statement, the Ministry advised companies to talk to their staff members about the possibility of providing “time-off,” trading off days off, or substituting annual leave for this reason.
Employers can also take actions like granting “time off” to workers who vote at close polling places or helping workers who have a long commute to vote at distant polling places.
However, taking yearly vacation is advised for workers who need to travel more than one day to the polling place.
Employers Can Be Fined RM5,000 Or Imprisoned For One Year
It should be highlighted that businesses are ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED to charge fines or withhold salaries from workers who miss work to vote.
Any employer who does not comply with the provisions under subsection 25(1) of Act 5 can be prosecuted and fined RM5,000 or a year in prison if convicted.