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I’m an Employee, Not a Slave. I Know My Rights!

over 7 years ago fadzel





This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.



Actually, you may not even be an ‘employee’


The Employment Act isn’t what it seems. And, as it turns out, not everyone falls under it..

The Employment Act 1955

The Employment Act 1955 (amended by Employment Amendment Act 2012) applies throughout West Malaysia. So, if you're from Sabah or Sarawak, you're covered under the Sabah Labour Ordinance or Sarawak Labour Ordinance instead. However, these laws are substantially similar to the Employment Act 1955. Let's just focus on the Employment Act 1955.

Now… Here’s the interesting part…

Are you an "employee" under the Employment Act?

Section 2 of the Act defines an Employee:

  • as any person whose wages does not exceed RM2000 per month under a contract of service with an employer


  • any manual worker, regardless of monthly pay, entering into a contract of service with an employer
  • anyone who supervises people doing manual labour
  • any operator of mechanically-propelled vehicles
  • a seaman on a Malaysian-registered vessel, with certain exceptions
  • a domestic servant

Section 2 Employment Act 1955: "employee" means any person or class of persons --

(a) included in any category in the First Schedule to the extent specified therein; or
(b) in respect of whom the Minister makes an order under subsection (3) or
section 2A

If indeed you are… Then the Employment Act tells you about your rights in the workplace and what you can do if your rights are denied.

Here’s an outline of your benefits -

Benefits under the Employment Act

If you are defined as an employee under the Act, you enjoy certain benefits under the Act. These benefits includes:

  • Compulsory one day of rest in every seven days (Section 59)
  • You can't be required to work more than 48 hours in a week (Section 60A)
  • You are entitled to 11 days of gazetted holidays (Section 60D)
  • You are entitled to a certain number of annual leave days, depending on your length of service (Section 60E)
  • You are entitled to a number of sick leave days, according to your length of service (Section 60F)

But, what about those who earn more than RM2000?

Based on the above, you’re in a different category and considered a workman instead.

So, are you even an employee?

If you’re not, stay tuned for our next piece!