HR minister urges private sector bosses to consider giving unrecorded leave to workers on second day of Deepavali

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Employers in the private sector have been asked to consider granting an additional day of unrecorded leave on the second day of Deepavali to their Hindu employees. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Employers in the private sector have been asked to consider granting an additional day of unrecorded leave on the second day of Deepavali to their Hindu employees. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Employers in the private sector have been asked to consider granting an additional day of unrecorded leave on the second day of Deepavali to their Hindu employees.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said this was in line with the government’s policy of according a day of unrecorded leave for the second day of Deepavali to Hindu civil servants enforced since 2018.

“After the second day of Deepavali it will be the weekend and this will give more time to employees to spend with their family for Deepavali since the second day of Deepavali falls on Friday, November 5,” he was quoted saying in a brief statement carried by Utusan Malaysia.

Saravanan said the holiday would be carried over to the weekend during which celebrants would have more time to spend with their families.

In Malaysia, the first day of Deepavali is recognised as a national public holiday.

Last week in Parliament, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer called on the government to implement a two-day national holiday for the Festival of Lights, saying just one day for Deepavali is insufficient.

Rayer had in Parliament implored Saravanan to raise the matter in the Cabinet.

Under the First Schedule of the Holidays Act, only Hari Raya Aidilfitri is given two days of public holiday nationwide. Chinese New Year similarly gets two days, except in Kelantan and Terengganu.

However, Section 8 of the same Act allows the prime minister to declare any day as a public holiday in the peninsula, the Federal Territories or certain states (after consulting the respective state authority) as he thinks fit by notification in the Federal Gazette.

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