All businesses except for essential services are closed during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period to break the chain of Covid-19. However, for employees who are in non-essential businesses, there are some confusions whether employers have the right to cut the employees’ salaries. So, if your employer decided to cut your wages, do you know what you can do? Here are some important things you should know about labour laws during MCO:
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri has warned employers who failed to pay full salaries
As said by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, the Human Resources Ministry has been informed of cases where employers have forced their employees to sign documents stating that their salaries would be cut during the MCO period. He firmly said that it’s wrong and will result in legal action being taken against the employers. Employers cannot force their staff to take annual leave and salaries must continue as usual.
What if my boss refuses to pay my salary in full?
Regardless of whether you are working from home or unable to work at all during MCO, your employer must still pay your salary in full; accordance to your contract of service.
You can send complaint to the Ministry of Human Resources
If you are earning a salary somewhere between RM2,000 to RM5,000, you can lodge a complaint to the Ministry of Human Resources. Send a complaint to their officer’s email at:
- Peninsular Malaysia: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sabah: email@example.com
- Sarawak: firstname.lastname@example.org
However, if you earn a salary more than RM5,000, you may want to consider a civil lawsuit against your employer for breach of your service contract.
Can my boss fire me during the MCO period?
If this case happens to you, you may want to speak to your boss and discuss how to solve it. If it’s the only decision to mitigate the company’s losses, your boss is obligated by law to pay you retrenchment benefits in line with the Employment Regulations 1990 – if your monthly salary is less than RM2,000.
However, if your boss does want to discuss and also does not want to give you any retrenchment benefits, you have the right to file representation under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 with your local Department of Labour office.
Whatever happened to your job, always check back your service contract
If your employer deducts your salary, forces you to take unpaid or annual leave due to Covid-19, you can always check your service contract. Your employer is actually in breach of your contract and you should inform your boss that he cannot do these things.
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