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MALAYSIA: Budget Marks End of Uniform National Statutory Minimum Monthly Wage

As part of the 2020 Budget, the monthly minimum wage is set to increase from RM1,100 (US$263) to RM1,200 (US$286) for all employees in designated cities across the country as of January next year. A full list of the cities in question is expected to be released in due course.

With the existing uniform national rate expected to be maintained, except in the duly designated cities, the move is seen as an attempt to incentivise businesses to re-locate from those urban areas with higher labour costs. This, in turn, is expected to lead to the increased industrialisation of the country’s less-developed regions.

In other moves, the budget also increases the statutory maternity leave period from 60 days to 90 days as of 2021, while the eligibility for compulsory overtime is to be extended from those earning less than RM2,000 a month to those earning less than RM4,000 a month. Furthermore, enhanced measures for addressing sexual harassment within the workplace are to be introduced. These three measures will be implemented following any necessary amendments to the country’s 1955 Employment Act.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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