Payroll and Benefits Guide Malaysia

Last updated: May 10, 2023

Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Employer Taxes
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Kuala Lumpur
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

18.95%-22.45% Total Employment Cost
12.00% – 13.00% Provident Fund (employees under the age of 60)
4.00%-6.50% Provident Fund (employees over the age of 60)
1.75% Social Security (SOCSO)
0.20% Employment Insurance (EIS) (monthly salary ceiling of 5,000 MYR)
1.00% Human Resource Development Fund (over 10 employees)


Employee Payroll Contributions

11.70%-17.20% Total Employee Cost*


Provident Fund (employees under the age of 60)


Provident Fund (employees over the age of 60)


Social Security (SOCSO) (for workers below the age of 60 the monthly contribution cap is MYR 24.75)


Employment Insurance (EIS) (monthly salary ceiling of  5,000 MYR)


Employee Income Tax


Up to 5,000 MYR


5,000 – 20,0000 MYR


20,000 – 35,000 MYR


35,000 – 50,000 MYR


50,000 – 70,000 MYR


70,000 – 100,000 MYR


100,000 – 400,000 MYR


400,000- 600,000 MYR


600,000 – 2,000,000 MYR


2,000,000 MYR and over

*Expat workers are subject to different contribution rates.

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


The National Wage in Malaysia is 1,500 MYR per month.
The wage increase is only applicable to companies in the private sector with five or more employees.




Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in Malaysia is generally monthly with payments made on the last working day.

13th Salary

In Malaysia, it is customary to pay a 13th-month payment at the end of the year. This will be stipulated within the employment contract.

Working Hours


Standard working hours are eight hours per day up to a maximum of 45 hours per week, though it is common to work 40 hours per week.


All work more than the standard working hours per week is to be paid as overtime and is regulated by the Employment Act, the employment contract, and the collective agreements. Generally, the Employment Act is used as guidance, although it is only legally relevant to manual and non-manual employees with a salary of less than 2,000 MYR.

The act states that overtime hours during the week on a working day are paid at 150.00% of the regular salary rate and overtime hours worked on rest days and weekends are paid at 200.00% of the regular salary rate.
Payment for overtime worked on public holidays is paid at a rate of 300.00% of the regular salary rate.

Working Week

Varies across regions, it can be Monday-Friday or Sunday-Thursday


Paid Time Off

Paid leave in Malaysia is outlined in the employment contract as dependent upon the years of employment. This paid leave is in addition to any public holidays.
An employee within the first two years of employment is entitled to eight days of paid leave per year. From the second to the fifth year of service, the employee is entitled to 12 days per year, which increases to 16 days for employees with more than five years of service. It is common to start with 12-15 days per year and increase with seniority. Leave is accrued from January to December.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to 11 paid public holidays per year, determined by the state of the worker.

Public holidays falling on Sundays are moved to a working day in lieu.

Sick Days

Paid sick pay in Malaysia is set in the employment contract as dependent upon the years of employment and the provision of a professional medical certificate.
The amount of paid sick leave entitlement is based on the number of years of service.

  • If an employee has less than two years of service, they are entitled to 14 days of sick leave per year
  • An employee with two to five years of service will be entitled to 18 days of sick leave per year
  • Employees with more than five years of service are entitled to up to 22 days of sick leave per year

Workers who are admitted to the hospital are entitled to hospitalization leave of 60 days per year in addition to the regular sick leave.

Maternity Leave

In Malaysia, the statutory maternity paid leave period for employees in the private sector is 98 consecutive days (paid in full).
The maternity leave period cannot start earlier than 30 days before the due date. All maternity leave in Malaysia is only applicable to a female employee’s first five surviving children. The female worker can resume work anytime during the 98 days, with consent from her employer & certified fit to resume work by a medical practitioner.



Paternity Leave

In Malaysia, married fathers, with 12 months of service are entitled to seven consecutive days of leave per birth, paid in full. Employers must be informed 30 days ahead of the expected due date.

Parental Leave

There is no statutory parental leave in Malaysia.

Other Leave

There is no other statutory leave in Malaysia.


Termination Process

The termination process is standard in Malaysia and is based on labor law requirements unless an employer can provide sufficient cause for dismissal without notice.
Notice of termination must be in writing and sent to the relevant governmental authorities.

There are restrictions on terminating pregnant workers except for cases of breach of employment contract, misconduct, or company cease operation.

Notice Period

Employees are entitled to the following minimum notice periods:

  • 4 weeks’ notice if the employee has been employed for less than 2 years on the date on which the notice is given
  • 6 weeks’ notice if the employee has been so employed for 2 years or more, but less than 5 years on such date
  • 8 weeks’ notice if the employee has been so employed for 5 years or more on such date

Alternatively, a payment in lieu of notice can be made by either party.

Severance Pay

In Malaysia, severance pay is mandatory if applicable, but the amount differs based on the length of service.

  • Ten days of severance pay at the regular salary pay rate for every year of service completed for employees within the first two years of employment
  • For employees who have completed between two and five years, the payment is calculated at 15 days per year of service
  • For an employee with five or more years of service, the entitlement is 20 days per year of service

Probation Period

The probation period in Malaysia for permanent employees is generally between 1 and 3 months. Although, the Employment Act confirms that there is no difference applicable to entitlements to employees whether they are within their probation period or not.



The employer must sponsor the visa and must be an accredited company that may hire foreign employees. The employee must be a certified foreign expert in the field they will be working. Malaysia also has a reported critical occupations list (COL), highlighting job types where there is a skills shortage within the country that supports work permits/visa applications.

In Malaysia, there are three work permit/visa types: an employment pass, a professional visit pass, and a temporary employment pass. Each type of pass has its criteria for acceptance with several stipulations that the employee must meet to qualify.

Prior approval of the director-general is needed before employing foreign employees.

The employer must notify director general within 30 days if/when foreign employee is terminated.



The standard rate of VAT in Malaysia is 10.00% for sales tax, 6.00% for service tax.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

May 1, 2022
The monthly minimum wage increased to 1,500 MYR for companies in the private sector with five or more employees.
February 28, 2022
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
January 1, 2021
The employee contribution to the mandatory Employees Provident Fund (EPF) rate has been reduced to 9%.

Questions & Answers

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Nor R.
Nor R.
2 years ago

Who is covered by the employee act or are all employees covered?

Emily Kuhnert
Emily Kuhnert
2 years ago
Reply to  Nor R.

Hi Nor, thank you for your question. Not all employees are covered by the Employment Act. People who earn less than 2,000 Ringitt per month, manual laborers (regardless of income level), and foreign workers who are legally in Malaysia are covered. Hope this helps!

1 year ago

 If employee pays Social security fund in home country then, is there a need to pay Social Security contribution in host country? 

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Shirin

Please be advised that the Social Security contribution is mandatory in the country where is the employment contract made. As a result, even if the employees are paying social security in their home country, they are still liable to pay social security contributions in the host country as well.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Malaysia

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

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All questions are answered by our in-house compliance department working in conjunction with our local in-country partner for this specific country

Public Holidays Calendar

Malaysia 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year's Day
Wednesday Feb-1 Chinese New Year
Monday Jan-2 Federal Territory Day
Friday Jun-2 Chinese New Year
Friday Jun-2 Thaipusam
Tuesday Feb-28 Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Tuesday Feb-28 Labor Day
Tuesday Feb-28 Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Wednesday Apr-5 Wesak Day
Tuesday Feb-28 Merdeka Day
Tuesday Feb-28 Awal Muharram
Tuesday Feb-28 Malaysia Day
Friday Nov-10 Sultan Selangor’s Birthday
Monday Dec-11 Deepavali
Friday Nov-10 Sultan Selangor’s Birthday
Tuesday Feb-28 Christmas Day