For several years, Myanmar has been engaged in significant ongoing social, economic, and legal reforms through new legislation and regulations. As part of this, Myanmar’s employment regulatory framework has been updated, including changes to the rules on overtime, working hours, and the calculation of leave.
The concept of overtime is defined in chapter 4 of Notification No. 68/2018 of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population (Notification 68), as time worked by an employee in excess of eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. Chapter 4 of Notification 68 also includes a formula for calculating average daily wages for piece-rate workers, as well as compliance measures that the employer must take to keep the regulator informed of overtime payments.
Chapter 5 of Notification 68 introduces a new concept of shift work and establishments requiring extended working hours. Shops and establishments that would like to stay open 24 hours a day may apply to the relevant authorities for permission, and businesses can apply to stay open for extended hours by working overtime, subject to approval of the relevant authorities.
A subsequent notification—Notification No. 69/2018 of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population (Notification 69)—sets out details of holidays and leave entitlements, including weekly and public holidays, casual leave (for “matters which are unexpected and sudden in nature”), earned leave, medical leave, and maternity leave. Significantly, Notification 69 specifies that if a weekly holiday or public holiday falls within a period of another type of leave taken by an employee, that holiday will be counted as part of the other type of leave. For example, if Tuesday is a public holiday, and an employee takes medical leave on Monday and Wednesday, that Tuesday will be counted as one of the days of medical leave (which would amount to three days in this scenario).
The implementation of Notifications 68 and 69 is reshaping the labor and employment landscape in Myanmar. Investors and entrepreneurs entering the Myanmar market can start off on a solid footing, by ensuring that their operations comply with these updated requirements.