Tax relief attracts firms to adopt flexible work arrangement

Johan: ‘There is a means to solve shortage of talent.’ Johan: ‘There is a means to solve shortage of talent.’

PETALING JAYA: The tax deductions announced during Budget 2014 to improve the country’s workforce, has spurred interest from businesses to include female talent through the implementation of flexible work arrangements (FWA).

Talent Corp Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Johan Mahmood Merican, who said this, believed if more of corporate Malaysia embraced FWA, it could help address the women, particularly in their late 20s, who leave the worklife for balance of work life.

“You cannot complain that there’s a shortage of talent when there is a means to solve that problem,” he told reporters at the FWA Workshop held yesterday.

Currently, female participation in the workforce is 49.5%, the lowest among the country’s Asean neighbours. The aim is to increase the figure to 55% by the end of 2015.

Additionally, implementing FWA could give organisations the extra edge in attracting the best and young talent, added Johan.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) together with Talent Corp held the first FWA workshop yesterday, attracting 146 participants.

MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said more support facilities such as childcare centres should be established to assist women who were looking to rejoin the work force.

“There aren’t such facilities now. The Government is really pushing pushing for childcare centres at the workplace but the employers are resisting it because it is very expensive to do so,” he said.

Under Budget 2014, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had proposed that employers implement the FWA to give flexibility to employees in terms of duration, place and working hours at the work place.

Malaysia’s human capital development is the single largest beneficiary with an allocation totalling RM54.6bil, representing 21% of Budget 2014.

In line with the Talent Roadmap 2020, Najib had said a double tax deduction incentive would be provided on training expenditure incurred by companies in re-employing women professionals on a career break.

The incentive is given for a period of three years of assessment for companies that obtained FWA status from Talent Corp from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2016.

Subject to confirmation from the Finance Ministry, businesses could apply for a double tax deduction for both consultancy and training cost up to a maximum of RM500,000, said Talent Corp.

For more information on FWA, visit