Confirmed: New Minimum Wages Order effective 1 May 2022; employers with less than 5 employees exempted

The widely-anticipated Minimum Wages Order 2022 (“the Order”) was gazetted on 27 April 2022. The Order, pursuant to section 23 of the National Wages Consultative Council Act 2011, increases the minimum wage nationwide to RM1,500 from 1 May 2022. There is a temporary exemption until 31 December 2022 from the increase for employers with less than five employees.

Further details of the Order are set out below.

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New Employment Act amendments may mean law pupils are entitled to minimum wage

A much-discussed issue in Malaysian legal circles for some time now has been the remuneration of pupils in the legal industry.

Many law graduates are grossly underpaid during their compulsory 9-month pupillage period, with reports of monthly pay as low as RM500. This is well below the current monthly minimum wage in Malaysia, which is RM1,100/1,200. However, pupils fall outside the scope of the Minimum Wages Order, as they are not “employees” under the existing Employment Act (EA).

Proposed amendments to the EA may change this position, and mean that pupils will be entitled to the national minimum wage.

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Just launched: “Guide to Malaysian Employment Law”

I have always believed that by writing about the law and related topics, I am not only sharing knowledge with others, but also richly expanding and deepening my own understanding of the topics I write about. This is why I have been consistently publishing my legal writings from my early days of practice, going back 18 years now.

Today, we have launched a Guide to Malaysian Employment Law. This Guide will be hosted on a standalone page on The Malaysian Lawyer, and is a one-stop introductory guide to Malaysian employment law, including categorised links to employment law articles I have published on The Malaysian Lawyer.

The topics in the Guide have been selected based on feedback from in-house counsel and HR professionals, and cover the usual high-level background legal information they would like to have on-hand, particularly as professionals from other jurisdictions considering employment issues in Malaysia.

The Guide will be constantly-evolving, and its contents will be updated from time-to-time. Please share the Guide with others who may find it useful, and leave a comment if you have any feedback, or requests or suggestions for other employment law issues that should be covered.

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