February 26, 2024

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What employers should include in a Flexible Working Policy and other recommended documents

What employers should include in a Flexible Working Policy and other recommended documents

Pursuant to variations contained in the Work (Amendment) Act 2022 (“the Amendment Act”), which the govt has introduced will arrive into pressure on 1 September 2022, staff members in Malaysia will be allowed to use to their employer for a Adaptable Working Arrangement (“FWA”). (For a far more complete search at the improvements under the Modification Act, study my previously short article: “Malaysia Employment Act amendments: 7 key modifications for businesses to note”)

The introduction of FWAs under the Amendment Act is the to start with time that FWAs have been formally recognised in Malaysia, and might be the 1st of numerous these kinds of changes — the authorities has also shared that it is conducting reports on the feasibility of a 4-day doing the job 7 days. Malaysian companies can anticipate FWAs to turn into additional commonplace in the in the vicinity of future, and should begin getting ready now. Various of my consumers are now placing in location the required versatile working insurance policies and other associated documents to not only guarantee that they are not caught unprepared appear the 1st of September, but also to lay the foundations for the anticipated adjustments in the upcoming couple of many years.

This short article sets out the crucial factors that need to be covered in a Flexible Doing the job Coverage, and also other advisable administrative/HR files that companies ought to strongly consider placing into spot to smoothly accommodate FWAs.

What the Amendment Act claims

The foundation of any inside files and policies will have to always be what is basically stated by the regulation. The FWA provisions in the Amendment Act are rather basic. FWAs are offered less than the Amendment Act by the introduction of a new Element XIIC.

A new Part 60P states that an employee could use to an employer for a adaptable operating arrangement to fluctuate the —

  • hours of work
  • days of perform or
  • put of perform,

in relation to his employment.

The application approach is set out in a new Section 60Q, which states that:

  • The employee’s adaptable performing arrangement application ought to be in creating “and in the type and way as may perhaps be established by the Director General” (for now, no direction has been produced about the type/method of the software).
  • The employer should approve or refuse the application within just 60 times from the day the software is obtained, and inform the employee in writing of the determination.
  • If the application is refused, the employer must condition the ground of these refusal.

Thus, these are the essential authorized elements which must be included by any internal insurance policies, and which will then be supplemented by content to handle numerous other practical considerations.

Critical details that have to have to be lined in a Versatile Operating Policy

Even after the Amendment Act will come into power, it is not necessary for employers to place in area a Adaptable Functioning Plan. Nevertheless, introducing this kind of a coverage is a proposed most effective observe, as carrying out so will present clarity for the administration and personnel on what the employer’s posture is about flexible doing the job preparations. A crystal clear policy also means there will be certainty for all get-togethers on how FWA purposes will be taken care of, and the Flexible Doing the job Policy can be supplemented by an interior assistance doc for HR/management.

A Flexible Doing the job Policy can vary in complexity and duration, from as easy as a handful of paragraphs on a solitary site, to a a lot much more complete plan. These are a number of important problems which an efficient Versatile Performing Policy should tackle.

  1. The applicability, scope, and effect of the plan: It should be distinct from the outset which workers the coverage applies to. This is especially vital for much larger and multi-countrywide organisations which are most likely to have interaction employees on a extensive assortment of distinctive work interactions, which include aspect-time personnel, temp staff, secondees, and interns. The coverage need to also state that although adaptable doing work preparations are recognised by the business, this does not imply that all apps for this sort of arrangements will be immediately accredited, or that employees are contractually entitled to such preparations.
  2. The distinctive styles of versatile functioning preparations recognised by the organization: Though the Amendment Act generally will allow workforce to use to fluctuate the several hours, times, and place of get the job done, an employer can give more particulars by an inside Flexible Doing the job Plan. For illustration, the plan can outline particular arrangements this sort of as short term FWAs (exactly where staff members can use for a FWA for a mounted period of time of 3-6 months), or preset shift FWAs (in which staff can decide on both to do the job Monday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Friday). The reward of expressly setting out the diverse forms of “company approved” FWAs is that it gives personnel with distinct options to pick from, makes it possible for the enterprise to have some control about the forms of FWA apps that will be submitted, and also sets anticipations that FWA purposes outside people selections are most likely to be turned down.
  3. Any pre-established conditions or restrictions on flexible functioning preparations: In addition to the unique kinds of FWAs as described in the previous segment, the coverage should also spell out the disorders or constraints on those FWAs. For illustration, the firm may perhaps allow an staff to function remotely, but issue to a limitation that the place have to be in the similar place or in a certain length from the workplace, or that the staff ought to be in a position to be present in the office for a regular monthly in-individual meeting, or be able to go to conferences at customers’ workplaces. As yet another instance, the firm could allow decreased working several hours matter to a bare minimum variety of hours per 7 days.
  4. Obligations in relation to confidentiality and health and safety: Two key problems that employers have when it will come to distant performing are in relation to confidentiality, and wellbeing and safety. The Flexible Operating Plan really should established out the anticipations and obligations on employees who are allowed to do the job remotely. The extent of these obligations will count on the unique function, data entry amount, mother nature of function, as properly as marketplace-certain prerequisites. Some employers may perhaps require significant-level protection in relation to paperwork or products to be in area in the employee’s remote workspace. For overall health and safety, there really should be minimum prerequisites in phrases of products and the situation of the workspace (or the necessity to have a designated workspace), and some employers could want to mandate a wellbeing and safety inspection, or a self-assessment checklist.
  5. Likely adjustments to salary, adaptable working allowances, or other added benefits/remuneration: Depending on the sorts of FWAs specified in the plan (see earlier mentioned), it could be feasible to spell out details of alterations to payment as a final result of an accepted FWA. Alternatively, the coverage can frequently reveal that sure styles of FWAs will come with adjustments to wage or benefits — for instance, a everlasting reduction in doing work hours will mean that an employee’s current wage will be minimized, and probably centered on a fixed formula. For multinational employers, an staff who will be operating in a various state underneath a FWA could have to swap to a different payroll place and have his/her salary localised to his/her new locale primarily based on the company’s fork out scales in that jurisdiction. The policy can also include things like details of any new allowances as a end result of a FWA (for example, distant office environment devices and set-up allowance), or any present allowances that will no lengthier be payable (for example, travelling or parking allowances).
  6. The company’s expectations of staff less than a FWA: A complete Adaptable Operating Plan must also briefly established out the company’s expectatations of employees who have been authorized to work below a FWA. This should incorporate the basics these types of as that employees with minimized doing work several hours are however envisioned to complete their crucial deliverables, attend all scheduled meetings, and keep on to abide with the company’s processes and guidelines. It can also involve details wherever pertinent, this kind of as becoming required to show up at a least range of on-web-site conferences.
  7. The application system: A key aspect of any Adaptable Functioning Plan will be the software and approval course of action. In addition to the typical applicability/scope portion which was outlined previously mentioned, the part detailing the application course of action can established out other eligibility conditions. For case in point, the organization may perhaps make it clear that purposes from personnel in their probationary interval, or who are at this time going through a PIP, will not be accepted. This part can set out how purposes can be submitted (preferably the enterprise will also have a standard FWA application kind — see “Other advisable documents” under), and the approval approach. The place appropriate, the policy ought to also explain that any approval is conditional on the employee signing a Adaptable Performing Settlement or a supplemental document amending the appropriate terms and conditions of their current work contract.

Other recommended files

Other than the Versatile Doing the job Coverage, it is also a advised finest exercise for employers to have some or all of the next files in place:

  1. Workflow or guideline for HR/management: This is a private doc for HR/administration-amount team only, and will established out assistance on how to cope with purposes. This will incorporate environment out the applicable individuals-in-demand for handling, determining on, and responding to applications, as well as the vital issues and pertinent paperwork. This is an essential steering document to be certain that the right course of action is adopted and the company is not exposed to any authorized hazard.
  2. Template FWA application sort: This standardised software sort will be referred to in the Versatile Working Policy, and personnel will be strongly encouraged to use this type when implementing for FWAs. Possessing a template in area will guarantee that all the related info is submitted as portion of the application, and also makes it possible for the enterprise to remind staff of the terms and situations that will be hooked up to effective FWA apps. If the Versatile Doing the job Policy evidently sets out the various sorts of FWAs recognised by the enterprise (see “#2: The distinctive types of flexible functioning preparations recognised by the company” over), then the software type can consist of box-tick selections (for case in point, the staff can use for “FWA 4: Improve of days of work to Wednesday to Friday”).
  3. Template acceptance or rejection letters: Once more, owning this standardised document in put will make it much easier for HR/administration and assure that the organization is not uncovered to any legal hazard. The typical approval letter will listing down all related paperwork (for instance, the FWA Arrangement or compliance checklist) and standardises all needed variations to the conditions and conditions of work. The conventional rejection letter will consist of obviously-worded and legally-acceptable good reasons for rejecting any FWA purposes.
  4. Template Versatile Working Settlement: The goal of this doc is to established out any alterations to the present employment agreement or terms/circumstances of employment. Whether or not this has to be in the variety of a different deal, an addendum to the employment agreement, or a very simple letter of endeavor by the personnel, will count on the extent of the improvements necessary.
  5. Compliance checklist for remote performing preparations: This is the self-assessment checklist referred to previously mentioned (see “#4: Obligations in relation to confidentiality and well being and safety” earlier mentioned) and is a fairly common doc that employers who have workers doing work remotely must currently be acquainted with.
  6. Template FWA termination letter: This template is to bring any FWAs to an conclude if demanded. Acquiring this in location will assure that any legal modifications that were being carried out due to the improve to a FWA will be appropriately reversed the place needed.

Advantages of preparing a Versatile Doing the job Plan and the other proposed paperwork

When it is not required for companies to have a Flexible Working Coverage or any of the other files encouraged in this report, numerous Malaysian companies are now planning these paperwork, and it is a advisable ideal follow with a number of crystal clear rewards:

  • It evidently communicates the employer’s situation on FWAs to workforce, and sets out the employer’s expectations of any staff members who are thinking of FWAs, as perfectly as the repercussions of FWAs this kind of as modifications to compensation and gains.
  • Location out the varieties of FWAs recognised by the employer will enable to streamline the form of FWAs that employees will utilize for. For employers with a substantial workforce, this is important to make sure that there are not far too lots of variations in the style of do the job preparations.
  • The standardisation and streamlining of the approach will also help save a great deal of time for HR/administration and develop more certainty in the procedure from start off to end. This drastically reduces exposure to authorized risk for any opportunity missteps.
  • From a practical viewpoint, acquiring a clear Adaptable Doing the job Coverage will also assistance to make it a lot easier to justify any rejections of FWA programs that tumble outside the parameters and conditions set out in the policy.