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Chairman of Top Glove: Ad hoc public holiday is disruptive for business

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New Straits Times has reported that the founder of investment holding firm Top Glove Corporation has noted that declaring public holidays in Malaysia on an ad hoc basis can prove detrimental to industries in the country. According to him, it can affect staff productivity and efficiency.

“The estimated salary cost for one additional public holiday in Malaysia is about RM 1.5 billion per day. Unplanned or ad hoc public holiday is disruptive for business,” said Top Glove chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai in a telephone interview with NST Business on 3 September.

Lim suggested three alternatives when granting a paid holiday declared under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951. He commented: “We could observe the public holiday and allow employees the day off with pay. If the public holiday fall on a rest day or another public holiday, the following working day shall be a substituted paid holiday.”

Alternatively, employers could request employees to work on the holiday declared and compensate them by paying additional two days’ wages at the ordinary rate of pay.

The other option recommended by him is for employers to request staff to work on the holiday and inform that the holiday will be substituted on another day as provided under Section 60D(1A) of the Employment Act 1955.

“Wages for work on that day should be the normal rate, not public holiday rate,” Lim said, adding the company can substitute the holiday without its employees’ agreement. The company has to fix the replacement date, which need not be the same date for all employees.

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