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Industry perspectives on Malaysian hotel minimum wage issues

Ann Selvaranee Balasingam (Faculty of Business, Hospitality and Humanities, School of Hospitality and Tourism, Nilai University, Nilai, Malaysia)
Kashif Hussain (Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism/Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Alwie Manaf (Faculty of Business, Hospitality and Humanities, School of Hospitality and Tourism, Nilai Springs Resort Sdn. Bhd, Nilai, Malaysia)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 26 March 2020

Issue publication date: 20 April 2020




The purpose of this paper is to investigate and compare the impact of the minimum wage order from the perspectives of two different stakeholders, namely, hotel managers and employees, in the Malaysian hotel industry.


For the study, qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews from three managers and three employees from hotels in West Malaysia.


From the managers’ perspective, minimum wage implementation has resulted in managers adopting the best payment structure to reduce labour costs for the operators, deciding to reduce the service charge allocation to employees and having to deal with minimal improvement in employee productivity and motivation. In contrast, the positive impact from the managers’ perspective is lower turnover intentions and social justice for foreign workers. From the employees’ perspective, there is a rather negative impact – minimum wage policy has resulted in a minimal increase in the salary. From a positive perspective, employees said that they have experienced an improvement in living standards.


This research presents current responses from hotel participants regarding the latest wage increase impact, some six years after its implementation.



Balasingam, A.S., Hussain, K. and Manaf, A. (2020), "Industry perspectives on Malaysian hotel minimum wage issues", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 185-197.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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