At Work in Kuala Lumpur

Work Usage in Kuala Lumpur

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Working Hours in Malaysia

The Malaysian Employment Act defines workweeks as 48 hours with a maximum of 8 hours per day and six days a week. Malaysian workers are eligible for full-time employment at the age of 14.

Office hours in Malaysia are 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, and many businesses and government agencies are also open until noon on Saturdays.

Wages in Malaysia

The average monthly salary for Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia is RM900, while in Sabah and Sarawak RM800 is the average monthly salary. Locals can earn between RM2,000 and RM4,000 per month in non-management positions.

Expatriates that are lured in by an expat packages can earn well over RM10,000 with all sorts of extras included. If expats are on a local package, the average is between RM5,000 and RM8,000. Anyone can live very comfortably on a RM5,000 monthly wage contract.

Work Contracts in Malaysia

Anyone employed in Malaysia for longer than one month must have a written employment contract. It should include:

  • Names of the both the employee and the employer
  • Date on which the employment begins
  • Place of work and employer's address
  • Job title, or a brief job description
  • Salary, including details of any bonuses or allowances
  • Terms and conditions of employment (relating to holiday entitlement, sick pay, overtime, probation and working hours)
  • Required notice period

Termination in Malaysia

An employee should resign by giving notice or resignation, or termination to the employer. If the length of notice is not specified in the contract of service, the notice period is as follows:

  • Less than 2 years of service - minimum 4 weeks
  • 2 years or more but less than 5 years of service - minimum 6 weeks
  • 5 years of service or more - minimum 8 weeks

Taking Vacation/Holiday Time in Malaysia

Holiday/vacation/time off should be stated in your contract. If not, check with HR and come to a mutual agreement between you and the employer. It may be either paid or unpaid or outside of the normal holiday entitlement.

There is a generous holiday schedule in Malaysia. People may worry about being away from work for such a long time but it might not be as disruptive as it sounds.

Public Holidays in Malaysia

Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world. National holidays are normally observed by most governmental and private organizations. State holidays are observed by certain states in Malaysia or when it is relevant. Some festivals are observed by particular ethnic or religious group, but are not public holidays.

Government agencies are closed every Saturday and Sunday in most of Malaysia, while in Kedah, Kelantan, Johor and Terengganu they are closed every Friday and Saturday.

Common Public Holidays in Malaysia

  • New Year's Day is observed as a public holiday in Malaysian states, except for Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.
  • Chinese New Year is a public holiday and lasts for 15-days.
  • Start of the Islamic calendar is a public holiday.
  • Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr) is the most important religious holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
  • Hari Merdeka, Independence Day on August 31, celebrating the independence of the Federation of Malaya.

Update 3/06/2015


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