Employers have to approve or reject FWAs applications in writing within 60 days, and will have to justify any rejections made, Deputy Minister of Human Resources Awang Hashim shared.
From 1 September 2022 (Thursday), employees in Malaysia who would like to have flexible work arrangements (FWAs) can apply for it with their respective employers, Deputy Minister of Human Resources Awang Hashim said on 23 June 2022 (Thursday).
Cited in Bernama's report, while officiating a symposium, Minister Awang highlighted that having FWAs should be allowed for employees as part of the latest amendment to Malaysia's Employment Act 1955, which will come into effect on 1 September.
All FWA applications must be made in writing, and can cover changes in working hours, working days, as well as the place of work.
"When the [FWAs] 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," the Minister explained.
As well, Minister Awang added that a study has also been conducted on a four-day work week to understand employers in Malaysia will "face severe effects" if such an arrangement was implemented in the near 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 [of Human resources]," he said.
As previously discussed in Malaysiakini's report, some of the amendments to the Employment Act 1955 include the extension of maternity leave, restrictions on terminating pregnant employees, the introduction of paternity leave, as well as the reduction of maximum weekly hours of work from 48 to 45 hours.
RM186mn in COVID-19 benefit claims paid to date
On a separate note, following the symposium, Minister Awang shared that the Social Security Organisation (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial, or SOCSO) has paid out RM186mn in COVID-19 benefit claims to 173,498 workers in Malaysia to date, under the Self Employment Social Security Scheme (SKSPS).
The Minister, cited in another Bernama report, said the claims were related to Act 4 and Act 789 under the SKSPS.
"As of today, a total of 233,746 applications have been received, and 173,498 of them have been approved and the applicants have received payments," he shared.
"For Act 4, payments have been handed over to 158,691 local workers, and 13,740 foreign workers involving payments of about RM185mn. Meanwhile, for Act 789, payments were made to 1,067 employees with a payment of about RM1mn."
At present, according to the Minister, SOCSO is "still receiving and processing applications" for benefits related to COVID-19 incidents that occurred at the workplace.
"Applications that have not been approved might still have incomplete data or documents, so the payment cannot be made," he explained. "SOCSO would need to investigate first to identify where the infection occurred, whether at work or elsewhere."
In May 2022, SOCSO shared that processing COVID-19 benefit claims as under an 'occupational disease' is in accordance with Malaysia's Employment Act, as well as in line with international reporting practices.
Image / Minister Awang's Facebook