Things You Need To Know About Annual Leave: 8 Common Questions Answered!

Things You Need To Know About Annual Leave: 8 Common Questions Answered!
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 05 October, 2021

Employment Act 1955 in Malaysia

The Employee Act 1955 (“Employment Act”) is the employment legislation that provides leave entitlements such as annual leave in Malaysia. The Employment Act covers workers defined as “employees.” Specifically, those employed as manual labour workers at any salary level and non-manual labour workers earning not more than RM2,000 per month. Workers who are not covered should refer to their employment contract to know more about their leave entitlement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Annual Leave

This article answered some of the common questions to help you know more about annual leave and other leave entitlements.

What are the different types of leave entitlement?

According to the Employment Act, these are the following leaves employees are entitled to:

  • Public holiday
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Maternity leave

Other leaves are usually unpaid and subject to employers’ approval, such as paternity, bereavement, marriage, and study leave.

How many days of paid annual leave do you have?

The specific number of annual leave you can take depends on two conditions: company policies and years of service. While it may differ, the Employment Act states employees who have provided continuous service with the same company are entitled to:

  • Eight days for those employed for less than two years;
  • Twelve days for every twelve months of continuous work for two to five years; and
  • Sixteen days for every twelve months of continuous work for five or more years.

What happens if you need to work during your annual leave?

Working during your annual leave means you did not take your day off, and you may file for another day as your leave. Similarly, if you have become entitled to sick leave during your annual leave, you shall be allowed to take it as sick leave instead.

However, you will not be entitled to paid annual leave if you took a leave of absence for a day or more than ten per cent of the day without seeking permission or having a reasonable excuse.

What happens if you need to work during a public holiday?

Your employer should provide another day as a substitute paid holiday leave if you are required to work during a public holiday. Likewise, if a public holiday overlaps with your annual leave or you need to file for sick leave, you shall be granted another day to take your holiday leave.

You are also entitled to payment of two days’ worth of wages at base pay if you work a monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, or other rates alike. For workers paid on piece rate, the payment should be twice the ordinary rate per piece. Should there be a need to render overtime, your day rate should not be less than three times your hourly rate.

When should I take my annual leave?

Your annual leaves shall be granted and taken on or within twelve months after the end of every twelve months of continuous service. You will cease to be entitled to such leave should you fail to use them at the end of such period.

If you are not sure when to book your annual leave, here is a guide to help you get double the days off this year.

Are employees still entitled to annual leave during COVID-19?

Yes, employees are still entitled to annual leave and other paid leaves even during COVID-19, wherein companies may be currently implementing work from home, flexible working hours, rotating shifts, or other work arrangements.

Can employers waive employees’ annual leave or force them to take unpaid leave?

The law does not allow employers to remove employees’ leave entitlement even during this period or decide to enforce unpaid leave without considering the employees’ side. Unless the employment contract states, granting paid annual leave shall be followed at all times.

What type of leave can be applied if an employee needs to go on quarantine or might have contracted the coronavirus?

You are allowed to take paid sick leave should you be placed under quarantine. However, employers cannot consider your quarantine period as unpaid leave; thus, you shall still receive your salary in full. They may not also use your quarantine days as part of your annual leave. However, your employer may require you to work from home if you are able.

Now you know more about your leave entitlement, keep in mind that your annual leave and other days off are employee rights crucial in giving you a work-life balance. Regardless of how you plan to spend them, your days away from work can positively impact your personal and professional life. This is why it is wise to be more familiar with employment regulations and contract terms, as these are significant factors in your productivity and performance as well as health and safety at work.

For more expert advice on job satisfaction and workplace wellbeing, visit our Career Resource Hub.

At JobStreet, we believe in bringing you #JobsThatMatter. As a Career Partner, we are committed to helping all jobseekers find passion and purpose in every career choice. And as the number 1 Talent Partner in Asia, we connect employers with the right candidates who truly make a positive and lasting impact on the organisation.

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About SEEK Asia

SEEK Asia , a combination of two leading brands JobStreet and jobsDB, is the leading job portal and Asia's preferred destination for candidates and hirers. SEEK Asia’s presence span across 7 countries namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. SEEK Asia is part of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed SEEK Limited Company, the world's largest job portal by market capitalisation. SEEK Asia attracts over 400 million visits a year.

About SEEK Limited

SEEK is a diverse group of companies, comprising a strong portfolio of online employment, educational, commercial and volunteer businesses. SEEK has a global presence (including Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, South-East Asia, Brazil and Mexico), with exposure to over 2.9 billion people and approximately 27 per cent of global GDP. SEEK makes a positive contribution to people’s lives on a global scale. SEEK is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, where it is a top 100 company and has been listed in the Top 20 Most Innovative Companies by Forbes.

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