If you don’t already know, the Election Commission has announced the polling date for 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9. If you haven’t checked the calendar, May 9 falls on a Wednesday.
The Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has declared May 9 as a special holiday for all schools nationwide in conjunction with polling day. However, polling day is not declared as a public holiday, which means it is most likely still a working day for many voters.
While the polling day may not be a rest day for employees, employers must allow workers to take time off and vote as per the law!
In accordance with Section 25 of the Election Offences Act 1954, an employer must give sufficient time for employees to perform their duties as voters on polling day. Employers also cannot penalize an employee through any deduction from the pay or other remuneration during the period that the employee has gone to vote.
The subsection 25(1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that:
“Every employer shall, on polling day, allow to every elector in his employ a reasonable period for voting, and no employer shall make any deduction from the pay or other remuneration of any such elector or impose upon or exact from him any penalty by reason of his absence during such period.”
Source: The Malaysian Times
According to Section 25(3) of the Election Offences Act 1954, employers who do not comply could be subjected to a fine of RM5,000 or a maximum of one year’s imprisonment, if convicted of “directly or indirectly, refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other manner, interferes with the granting to any elector in his employ, of a reasonable period for voting”.
So, employers out there, make sure you give your staff enough time to put in their votes!
What’s your take on this?