What You Must Know About Malaysia Employment Practices
Every company must have proper employment practices. Improper or unlawful employment practices has the potential to become a massive liability to managers or companies that mishandle their employees (or applicants). Understanding employment practices in Malaysia could be useful to you, regardless of whether you are only starting to seek a job or a seasoned worker. Read more below on Malaysia employment practices.
Wait. What Exactly Is Meant by ‘employment Practices’?
Employment practices are standard measures of treating employees in a workplace – it defines the relationship between the company and the employees that work for it. In other words, employment practices are referred to as ‘patterns’ occurring day to day in a company. Contextually, the word ‘pattern’ here means how the company handles its employees’ progress, career growth, well-being and their affairs, such as:
- Disciplinary action.
- Transfers and reassignment.
- Termination of employment.
- Human resources development.
- Occupational safety and health.
- Working conditions.
- Hours of work, rest time and rest days.
- Complaint response system.
In Malaysia, the main piece of legislation governing labour is the Employment Act 1955, which has outlined employment practices. Aside from the Employment Act, other acts such as the Industrial Relations Act and the Social Security Act also help to regulate proper employee practices at work.
Unlawful Employment Practices
It is uncommon to hear that some companies have unfair employment practices that can be impactful to the well-being and the mental health of an employee. Needless to say, these employment practices that hurt the employee are discouraged and are most certainly unlawful. If a manager or a company is found guilty of using illegal employment practices, they can face serious consequences such as work termination, getting penalized or fined.
One key thing to keep in mind is that not every unlawful employment practice is direct – some unfair practices can be hidden in plain sight and be subtle. For example, a skilful and qualified individual who fits the job description lost the position to another of lesser qualification because the hiring company prefers a certain race better. See below for some common unlawful employment practice:
- Discrimination against a person’s beliefs.
- Sexual orientation discrimination.
- Disability discrimination.
And so much more. Anytime an applicant or an employee gets rejected, demoted or terminated for reasons that have nothing to do with their actual skills, qualifications and attitude, it signifies discriminatory behaviour in a company.
What You Can Do
If any of these scenarios sound familiar or have happened to you, there are two things you can do about it:
- Speak to your manager.
First, try to collect evidence and raise the issue to your manager or the Human Resources department. Your employer or the HR department should take matters such as these seriously, investigate the issue and subsequently take actions.
- Make a police report.
If the company chooses to downplay and dismiss the issue, or the discrimination continues with no prompt action, you can file a complaint with the police. Apart from that, you can also report to the administrative agency, court or the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR). More on how to make a report with MOHR here.
Understand Your Rights as an Employee
Employment practices towards workers must be fair and unbiased. Every individual has the right to equal opportunity, equal pay and should not be discriminated against for their differences. Understanding your rights significantly as an employee can hinder you from being a victim of discrimination and protect yourself legally.