Core Facts

  • Population:  31 million
  • GDP:  USD 296 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 10,878
  • Workforce:  14.4M
  • Unemployment (2017):  3.4%
  • Average monthly wages (2017):  USD 574


Malaysia is a Federation of 13 states and 3 Federal Territories. It’s legal system is structured through a Federal Constitution and 13 State Constitutions. The Federal Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land.  State Constitutional law is made separately by the individual State. Any law made by Parliament or by State Constitution that inconsistent with Federal Constitution is void. The main legislation in Malaysia that governs labour law rights is the Employment Act 1955.

Malaysia has two different legal forums to resolve labour disputes: the Industrial Court and the Labour Court.  The Industrial Court is the main statutory tribunal and deals with individual disputes arising from the employer-employee relationship (such as dismissals), trade disputes between trade unions and employers (such as transfers, collective agreements) and breaches of rights and obligations imposed under the Industrial Relations Act 1967. The Labour Court deals with monetary matters such as recovery of wages and other monies and employment benefits provided to employees under the Employment Act 1955 such as overtime pay, maternity allowance, salary in lieu of notice of termination and termination benefits.