Youth Employment

Information about the work opportunities and regulations for teenagers, students and school leavers in Malaysia...

The minimum age for employment in Malaysia is 14 years and there is protective legislation for children who work between the ages of 14 and 16 years. However, exceptions do apply and children younger than 14 years may work in a family business or other jobs authorised by the government. Again, protective legislation applies. Employment legislation differs in Sabah and Sarawak, where children under 14 years are allowed to work in limited environments which require non-physical work and for no longer than six hours a day.

Foreign students in Malaysia on a student visa may work in Malaysia during holidays of more than seven days. They may work for up to 20 hours a week.

  • For information about legislation for youth employment: Click here

Minimum wage

Malaysia does not have a national minimum wage. However, minimum mandatory rates of pay do exist for different types of workers, for example plantation workers. The Malaysian government has recently approved a policy of national minimum wage, but it has not yet come into force.

Youth unemployment

Young people between 15 and 24 years old who are not pursuing higher education and are seeking work fall into the category of youth unemployment. This is around 11 per cent in Malaysia, and accounts for 60 per cent of total unemployment.