KUALA LUMPUR: The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) hopes to discuss the implementation of the Employment Act with the film industry.
This is because provisions in the Finas Act 1981 cannot override the amendments made to the Employment Act, said its chief executive officer Dr Md Nasir Ibrahim.
He said the matter did not give Finas the authority over overtime issues involving art practitioners.
“Therefore, the view that Finas has the authority to take action or set the working hours of art practitioners is incorrect, in fact, legally it is contradictory.
“I hope that the confusion and misinterpretation by some people regarding Finas’ authority regarding working overtime involving artistes, especially actors and production crew members, are corrected with this clarification,” he said in response to the issue, which went viral on social media recently, reported Bernama.
Md Nasir said the welfare of workers and the flexibility in working hours provided under the amendment) also applied to film industry practitioners who were involved in filming, including actors and production crew.
He added that he hoped those involved in the industry were aware of the latest amendments to the law, so that no misunderstandings would crop up between the employers and employees.
Md Nasir also said that the number of working hours agreed upon and fixed under the terms and conditions of the contract between the employer (producer) and the employee (actor or production crew) should comply with the terms provided under the Employment Act.
However, he said Finas would take a more open and proactive approach in the matter, and hoped to invite representatives from the Professional Actors Association (Seniman), Professional Film Workers’ Association of Malaysia (Profima) and stakeholders to discuss the issue soon.
“Finas is also prepared and 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 added.
Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar earlier announced that the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment) 2022 came into effect on Jan 1, 2023, despite requests from the industry to extend the deferment period.
Among other things, the amendment reduces the length of the working week from 48 hours to 45 hours, increases maternity leave from 60 days to 98 days, increases paternity leave from three days to seven days, and bans discrimination in employment.