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MEF: Flexible working hours the answer to better productivity in Malaysia

Executive director of the Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan believes that Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA) could increase productivity, especially in bigger cities with bad traffic.

“The FWA is really needed now because an employee in a large city wastes between two to three hours a day commuting to and from work because of traffic congestion...the FWA is the best solution,” he told Bernama.

In fact, he mentioned it will not affect productivity as the working hours and days were suited to the employees and needs of the employers - contrary to the belief of most companies that it would affect operations and attendance.

Datuk Shamsuddin noted how many employers were still very confused about the FWA.

“Employers think they will lose money because the flexible hours would cause productivity to drop, but their fears are baseless as the FWA does not mean less working hours and reduced productivity,” he said.

He also thinks that the FWA would also retain more women employees, as most were inclined to resign for various reasons such as family commitments and the high cost of commuting to work.

ALSO READ: 91% of Malaysians think flexible working is key to retaining older staff

In another interview with Free Malaysia Today (FMT), Datuk Shamsuddin also addressed problems with the service charge following the commencement of minimum wage two years ago.

He believes that it's better for employers to pay employees clean wages, removing the possibility of complications attached to service charges.

“Under the amended Employees Provident Fund (EPF) & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952, service charges are not part of wages, but under the Employment Act, service charges are considered part of wages,” he commented on the unresolved issue.

“It also presents a situation where employees working in hotels and restaurants with no unions or Collective Agreements (CA), may be shortchanged if the service charges are not disbursed as per the 90:10 ruling.”

The 90:10 ruling meant that 90% of the service charge collected was disbursed to rank and file employees, while the management retained the 10% for various expenses.

“When there is a union, they have access to the accounts of the employers and can see how much service charge was collected, but this is not the case for establishments without a union.”

Photo / 123RF

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