Finas cannot override Employment Act amendments, says CEO

KUALA LUMPUR: The Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia Act 1981 cannot override the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022, regarding the number of working hours, which came into force on Sunday (Jan 1), says the National Film Development Corporation (Finas).

In a statement on Monday (Jan 2), Finas CEO Prof Dr Md Nasir Ibrahim (pic) said Act 244 did not give the corporation authority over overtime issues involving practitioners of the arts.

ALSO READ: Find a common ground for stakeholders on the Employment Act amendments

“Therefore, the view that Finas has the authority to take action or set the working hours for them is incorrect.

“I hope the confusion… by some people over Finas’ authority on overtime involving artists, especially actors and production crew members, is corrected with this clarification,” he said of the issue, which went viral on social media recently.

He said the welfare of workers and flexibility in working hours, provided under the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022, also applied to film industry practitioners involved in filming, including actors and production crew.

ALSO READ: Parents look forward to paternity and extended maternity leave

Md Nasir said he also hoped that those in the industry were aware of the latest amendments to the law, so that no misunderstandings arose between employers and employees.

He said the working hours agreed upon and fixed under the terms and conditions of any contract between employer (the producer) and employee (the actor or production crew member) should comply with the Employment Act 1955.

However, he said Finas would take an open and proactive approach in the matter, and hoped to invite representatives from Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman), Persatuan Pekerja Profesional Filem Malaysia (Profima) and stakeholders to discuss the issue soon.

“Finas is open to criticisms and suggestions from all parties, to ensure that the interests and welfare of the people working in the film industry are always protected,” he said.

ALSO READ: Employees who earn up to RM4,000 now entitled to overtime

Previously, Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar announced that the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022 would be into effect from Jan 1, despite requests from the industry to extend the deferment period.

Among other things, the amendments include a reduction in the length of the working week from 48 hours to 45 hours, an increase in maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days, an increase in paternity leave from three days to seven days, and a ban on discrimination in employment. – Bernama