What are the overtime rates according to the Employment Act?

The PayrollPanda app automatically calculates overtime - for more info you can refer to this help article.

Rules explained in this article apply to employees covered under the Employment Act (e.g. wages not exceeding RM2,000, manual labourers), but can also be used as guidelines for other staff.

Different rates apply whether the work is performed during or outside normal working hours and during normal work days, rest days or public holidays.


Overtime on normal work days

For any overtime work carried out in excess of the normal hours of work, the employee shall be paid at a rate not less than one and half times his hourly rate of pay.

In the PayrollPanda app, you can use the preset overtime item: Overtime (Normal) x1.5.


Overtime on rest days

Every employee is allowed a rest day of one whole day per week. Where an employee is allowed more than one rest day in a week (employees working a 5-day week), the last of the rest days shall be the rest day for overtime purposes. So for employees working Monday to Friday the rest day will be Sunday.

A daily-rated worker who works on a rest day during normal working hours shall be paid as follows:

(i) 1 day's wages if the work does not exceed half his normal hours of work; or

(ii) 2 days' wages if the work is more than half but does not exceed his normal hours of work.

A monthly-rated worker who works on a rest day during normal work hours shall be paid as follows:

(i) 1/2 day's wages if the work does not exceed half his normal hours of work, or

(ii) 1 day's wages if the work is more than half but does not exceed his normal hours of work.

In the PayrollPanda app, you can create a custom Overtime item with multiplier rate of 1 and add 4 hours for half day's wage and 8 hours for full day. Please read here for more info on how to create custom overtime.

For overtime work on a rest day outside normal working hours, an employee shall be paid at a rate which is not less than two times his hourly rate of pay.

In the PayrollPanda app, you can use the preset overtime item: Overtime (Rest-day) x2.


Overtime on public holidays

If working during normal working hours on a public holiday, in addition to the holiday pay he is entitled to for that day, an employee is entitled to two days’ wages at the ordinary rate of pay, regardless that the period of work done on that day is less than the normal hours of work.

In the PayrollPanda app, use the preset overtime item: Overtime (Rest-day) x2 (as the employee is already receiving his normal holiday pay through his monthly salary so only the additional x2 rate needs to be added). Add 8 hours to make up the 2 days' wages.

For any overtime work carried out by an employee outside normal working hours on a public holiday, the employee shall be paid at a rate which is not less than 3 times his hourly rate of pay.

In the PayrollPanda app, you can use the preset overtime item: Overtime (Public) x3.


Ordinary rate of pay

The Employment Act provides that the minimum daily rate of pay for overtime calculations should be: monthly wages*/26. However employers are also allowed to choose any other calculation basis which is more favourable to the employee, eg monthly wages/22 if the employee works 5 days a week. In the app, the daily rate of pay is divided by 8 hours to derive the hourly rate of pay.

In the PayrollPanda app, you can select the calculation basis for overtime under Settings>Payment Settings. For more details, please read here. If your employees work 6 days a week, please be aware that some months have 27 workdays and therefore it would be preferable to choose Fixed Days - 26 as calculation basis rather than Working Days in Current Calendar Month to avoid paying overtime below the minimum rate. 

*wages for this purpose are defined as:

basic wages and all other payments in cash payable to an employee for work done in respect of his contract of service but not including:

(a) the value of any house accommodation or the supply of any food, fuel, light or water or medical attendance, or of any approved amenity or approved service;

(b) any contribution paid by the employer on his own account to any pension fund, provident fund, superannuation scheme, retrenchment, termination, lay-off or retirement scheme, thrift scheme or any other fund or scheme established for the benefit or welfare of the employee;

(c) any travelling allowance or the value of any travelling concession;

(d) any sum payable to the employee to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment;

(e) any gratuity payable on discharge or retirement; or

(f) any annual bonus or any part of any annual bonus.


For more information on how to add Overtime items, please read here.


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