Regulations governing part-time work for private-sector workers are expected to come into effect in March.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S.Subramaniam said his ministry was in the midst of finalising the regulations under the Employment Act 1955.

“We are just waiting for a small change before we can gazette it within the next one or two months,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Employment Law Conference 2010 here Wednesday.

He said that with such regulations, employers and employees would have a clear idea of their rights and responsibilities towards each other.

“Even though some people do work part-time, they don’t have legal support for them to work. Through these part-time regulations, it would be legal so that employers need not to worry,” he said.

He also said that the regulations were designed to encourage more Malaysians, especially the latent workforce, to be employed and at the same time reduce dependency on foreign workers.

Dr Subramaniam said there were about 6.5 million latent workforce in the country, including housewives, the elderly, disabled and students who were educated but could not find better jobs.

He said that among the issues to be covered by the regulations were contributions to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Social Security Organisation (Socso), overtime work and medical leave.

“I hope the industries will take this seriously because they can create jobs for people who don’t want to work for eight hours, for example, those who want to work four or five hours. And this also provides opportunities to create a new concept in employment.”

He said the ministry would also propose a special High Court dedicated to hear industrial relations cases and resolve them faster, compared with the current long waiting period.