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.