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Paying Your Employees: What You Need to Know as an Employer in Malaysia

Navigating the complexities of payroll compliance in Malaysia is crucial for employers to avoid legal penalties and foster a positive work environment. Here’s a detailed guide on what employers must do to stay compliant beyond just adhering to the minimum wage requirements.

1. EPF (Employees Provident Fund) Contributions

Employers must contribute to the EPF for their employees. The current contribution rates are:

  • 13% for employees earning RM 5,000 or less per month.

  • 12% for employees earning more than RM 5,000 per month.

  • Employees themselves contribute 11% of their monthly salary.

EPF contributions are vital for employees’ retirement savings and are a mandatory requirement for all employers in Malaysia.

2. SOCSO (Social Security Organization) Contributions

SOCSO provides social security protection by insuring workers against occupational injuries and invalidity. Employers must register their employees and contribute to two main schemes:

  • Employment Injury Scheme: 1.25% of the employee’s monthly wages, paid entirely by the employer.

  • Invalidity Pension Scheme: 1% of monthly wages, shared equally between the employer and the employee.

3. EIS (Employment Insurance System) Contributions

The Employment Insurance System (EIS) offers financial assistance and employment services to unemployed workers. Both the employer and the employee must contribute 0.2% of the employee’s monthly salary each.

4. Tax Deductions

Employers are responsible for deducting income tax from employees' salaries based on the Monthly Tax Deduction (MTD) schedule issued by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN). Accurate and timely remittance of these deductions is crucial for compliance.

5. Payslips and Record-Keeping

Employers must provide detailed payslips that include:

  • Breakdown of salary components.

  • Deductions (EPF, SOCSO, EIS, tax).

  • Net pay.

Additionally, accurate payroll records must be maintained for at least seven years, as required by Malaysian law.

6. Working Hours and Overtime

Compliance with the Employment Act 1955 is essential:

  • Working Hours: Employees should not work more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week without overtime compensation.

  • Overtime Pay: Must be paid at:

- 1.5 times the hourly rate on normal working days.

- 2 times on rest days.

- 3 times on public holidays.

7. Annual Leave and Public Holidays

Employers must provide statutory minimum leave entitlements:

  • Annual leave.

  • Sick leave.

  • Paid public holidays.

These are stipulated under the Employment Act and must be adhered to strictly.

8. Employment Contracts

Every employee must have a written contract that outlines:

  • Terms of employment.

  • Salary details.

  • Job role.

  • Working hours.

  • Leave entitlements.

Contracts ensure clarity and compliance with the Employment Act 1955.

9. Minimum Wage Adjustments

Employers must stay updated with any changes in the minimum wage laws. As of the latest updates:

  • RM 1,500 per month for employees in Peninsular Malaysia.

  • RM 1,400 per month for those in Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan.

Regularly updating payroll systems to reflect these changes is essential.


Employers in Malaysia must navigate various statutory requirements to ensure compliance with payroll regulations. Regular audits, accurate record-keeping, and staying updated with legal changes are critical to maintaining compliance and fostering a positive work environment. For more detailed information, you can refer to the official websites of [EPF](, [SOCSO](, and [LHDN](

Staying compliant not only helps avoid legal penalties but also enhances the reputation of your business as a fair and responsible employer.

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