Increase in Minimum Wage Effective January 1, 2019

New Order or Decree

The increase to the minimum wage throughout the nation is effective January 1, 2019. The new minimum wage is: (1) Monthly: RM1,100.00 and (2) Hourly: RM5.29. The daily minimum wage, based on number of working days in a week is: RM42.31 (for six working days in a week); RM50.77 (for five); and RM63.46 (for four).

New Employment Insurance System Regulation

New Regulation or Official Guidance

The Employment Insurance System (Registration and Contribution) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (“Regulations 2018”) was published on October 5, 2018 and came into operation on November 1, 2018. Regulations 2018 provides the penalties for failure to pay any contribution, arrears of contribution or interests (if any) to the Social Security Organization.

Social Security Protection for Foreign Workers

Proposed Bill or Initiative

As of January 1, 2019, employers hiring foreign workers (including expatriates) must register their employees with the Social Security Organisation and contribute to the Employment Injury Scheme (EIS) under the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969. Under the EIS, foreign workers may receive various benefits, including medical benefit, temporary/permanent disablement benefit, dependants’ benefit and rehabilitation, as well as a RM6,500 repatriation cost, including funeral expenses. However, they will not be covered under the Invalidity Pension Scheme under the Act.

Employment of Children and Young Persons

Proposed Bill or Initiative

The Children and Young Persons (Employment) (Amendment) Bill 2018 seeks to enhance the protection of children and young persons in the workplace. Passed by the Senate (in December) and currently pending Royal Assent, the bill’s effective date is to be confirmed. The bill, inter alia, seeks to increase the penalties for all related offenses, prohibiting exposing children to hazardous work or chemicals, dusty conditions, extreme temperatures, noise and vibration. However, a young person may engage in hazardous work with personal supervision through an apprenticeship or vocational training program