Navigating the Malaysian Labour Law Landscape: An Employment Act 1955 Primer


The Malaysian Labour Law landscape is governed by a set of crucial legislations, with the Employment Act of 1955 standing as a cornerstone. Understanding its provisions and implications is essential for both employers and employees in Malaysia.

Historical Significance

The employment act 1955 holds historical significance as Malaysia’s first comprehensive legislation addressing the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Enacted during the post-independence period, it aimed to establish fair and just employment practices.

Scope of Application

The Act applies to all employees earning a monthly wage not exceeding a specified amount, and covers various aspects of employment, including terms of contract, termination, and working conditions.

Employment Contracts and Terms

This section delves into the specifics of employment contracts, outlining the obligations of both parties, including working hours, rest days, and overtime pay.

Wages and Benefits

An integral aspect of any employment relationship, this section elucidates the Act’s provisions regarding wages, allowances, and benefits, ensuring fair compensation for work rendered.

Working Hours and Rest Periods

Understanding the regulations surrounding working hours and rest periods is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preventing exploitation.

Overtime and Public Holidays

Here, we explore the Act’s provisions regarding overtime work, including compensation rates, and discuss the rights of employees during public holidays.

Termination and Dismissal

This section provides a comprehensive overview of the grounds and procedures for termination or dismissal, offering clarity on due process and legal requirements.

Maternity and Sick Leave

Acknowledging the importance of employee well-being, this section outlines provisions related to maternity and sick leave, ensuring a supportive work environment.

Employment of Children and Young Persons

This heading addresses the Act’s regulations regarding the employment of minors, safeguarding their rights and well-being.

Rights of Employers

Employers too have rights protected by the Act. This section sheds light on their entitlements, including the right to terminate employment under specific circumstances.

Employment Standards and Compliance

Employers must adhere to established standards to ensure a fair and conducive work environment. This section highlights the importance of compliance with the Act’s provisions.

Dispute Resolution and Remedies

In case of disagreements or disputes, both employers and employees have recourse to various avenues for resolution. This section offers an overview of available remedies.


Navigating the Employment Act of 1955 is crucial for a harmonious employer-employee relationship in Malaysia. Understanding its provisions ensures a fair and equitable work environment for all parties involved.

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