Know Your Rights, Part-Time Employees!

Updated: 4 days ago

Authored by Nicholas Teh & Aaron Thye



1. Are you a part-timer?

  • Under the Employment Act 1955, a part-timer or “part-time employee” is an employee wherein his or her average hours of work per week is more than 30% but less than 70% of the normal hours of work per week of a full-time employee employed in a similar capacity by the same employer.[1]

  • Normal hours of work is defined as the hours of work as agreed in the contract of service between the employer and the employee.[2]

  • In the event that the normal working hours of a full-time employee cannot be ascertained, it will be deemed to be eight (8) hours per day or forty-eight (48) hours per week.[3]


2. What are the laws governing your rights as a part-timer?

  • If you, as a part-timer, fall within the definition of the Employment Act 1955 i.e. your monthly wages does not exceed RM2,000.00, or you are engaged in manual labour[4], you will be protected under the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010.

  • However, if you, as a part-timer, do not fall within the Employment Act 1955, the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010 is not applicable to you and your rights will be determined by contract.


3. Are you asked to work overtime?

  • If you are required to work beyond your normal working hours but does not exceed the normal hours of work of a full-time employee employed in a similar capacity, you must be paid according to your hourly rate of pay.[5]

  • If you work beyond the normal working hours of a full-time employee employed in a similar capacity, you must be paid at a rate not less than one and a half (1.5) times your hourly rate of pay.[6]


4. Are you entitled to public holidays and will you be paid on public holidays?

  • You are entitled to be paid on seven (7) of the gazetted public holidays at your ordinary rate of pay, four of which shall be:[7]

  • the National Day;

  • the Birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;

  • the Birthday of the Ruler or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, of the State you wholly or mainly work under your contract of service, or the Federal Territory Day if you work in the Federal Territory; and

  • the Worker’s Day

  • You are also entitled to be paid your ordinary rate of pay on any day declared as a public holiday under section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951.[8]

  • In addition, in the event that you are required to work at normal hours of work on any paid holiday to which you are entitled to, you shall be paid not less than two days’ wages in addition to the holiday pay you are entitled to for that day.[9]


5. What if you are required to work overtime on public holidays?

  • If you are required to work beyond the normal working hours of a part-time employee on a public holiday, you must be paid at a rate of two (2) times your hourly pay.[10]

  • If on a public holiday where you are required to work beyond the normal hours of work of a full-time employee employed in a similar capacity, you must be paid three (3) times your hourly rate of pay.[11]


6. Are you entitled to annual leave?

  • The number of annual leave you are entitled to depends on how long you have been employed by the employer.[12]

  • However, if you have not completed twelve (12) months of continuous service with the same employer during the year which your contract of service terminates, your entitlement to paid annual leave shall be in direct proportion to the number of completed months of service.[13]

  • In any event, you shall be paid your ordinary rate of pay for every day of paid annual leave taken.[14]


7. Are you entitled to sick leave?

  • Similarly, the number of paid sick leave you are entitled to depends on how long you have been employed by that employer.[15]

  • In any event, you shall be entitled to paid sick leave at your ordinary rate of pay but not on your non-working day.[16]


8. What are the penalties to be imposed on your employer on failure to comply with the regulations concerning the issues above?

  • If your employer fails to comply with the regulations concerning working overtime, holidays, annual leave and sick leave, your employer commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit (RM10,000.00).[17]


Source of Photo : DoratomGo, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

[1] Section 2(1) of the Employment Act 1955 [2] Regulation 2 of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010 [3] Regulation 4(1) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010 [4] First Schedule of the Employment Act 1955 [5] Regulation 5(1)(a) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010 [6] Regulation 5(1)(b) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010 [7] Regulation 6(1)(a) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[8] Regulation 6(1)(b) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[9] Regulation 6(5) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[10] Regulation 6(6)(a) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[11] Regulation 6(6)(b) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[12] Regulation 7(1) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[13] Regulation 7(2) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[14] Regulation 7(3) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[15] Regulation 8(1) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[16] Regulation 8(2) and 8(3) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010

[17] Regulation 5(2), Regulation 6(8), Regulation 7(6) and Regulation 8(4) of the Employment (Part-Time Employees) Regulations 2010



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