Whether The Special Holiday in State Level is Compulsory

  1. Entitlement Holiday by An Employee

    1. the National Day;
    2. the Birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;
    3. the Birthday of the Ruler of the State or Yang-di-Pertua Negeri or Federal Territory in which the employee wholly or mainly works under his contract of service, or the Federal Territory Day;
    4. the Workers’ Day; and
    5. the Malaysia Day; and
    6. on any day appointed as a public holiday for that particular year under section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 [Act 369]
  2. Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 : Holidays by Declaration

    Section 8 of the Holidays Act of 1951 says that the Prime Minister, by notification in the Gazette or in such other manner as he thinks fit, can make any day a public holiday
    For example,

    1. the Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has declared 18.11.2022 and 19.11.2022 as public holidays in order to encourage people to carry out their responsibility and vote on polling day.
    2. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced 28.11.2022 as public holiday in conjunction with the formation of an Unity Government and his appointment as the country’s 10th Prime Minister.
  3. Conclusion

    In Malaysia, we have two types of public holidays, those at national and state levels. National holidays are the abovementioned public holidays, normally observed by most governmental and private organisations. State holidays are normally observed by certain states in Malaysia or when it is relevant to the state itself according to section 9(1) of the Holidays Act.

    For the private sector, Section 60D of the Employment Act provides that the employer must list 11 gazetted public holidays that the employees are entitled to before the commencement of each calender year.

    While Section 8 of the Holidays Act stated that the Prime Minister could declare any day as public holiday. All these public holidays are considered as paid holidays, however the employers may nominate a replacement day for those holidays declared at short notice. If the employers should require the employees to work during those holidays declared by the Prime Minister, the rate of pay is that of a public holiday.

    In short, the employers are not required to observe the state level holidays. Therefore, the employees are still required to work as usual if the employers do not declare these state level holidays as paid holidays.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact our lawyer that you usually deal with.

This article is written by
Yeo Soo Peng
Partner, Low & Partners
Joyce Tai Li Sze
Legal Associate, Low & Partners
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