Guidelines on Handling Issues Relating to the Spread of COVID-19 Disease at Workplace
The Ministry of Human Resources (MOH) has issued a press statement on 16 March to urge all the employees and employers to refer to the Employment Act 1955 in dealing with the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. Among the sections that can be referred to are Section 60F & Section 60E(1B).
Employment Act 1955 Section 60F
- Instruct employee to get health check by medical practitioner immediately with the medical fee paid by employer.
The Duration of Paid Medical Leave (Without Hospitalisation)
- In at least one calendar year as follows:
- 14 days, if the employment duration is < 2 years.
- 18 days, if employment duration is 2 – 5 years.
- 22 days, if employment duration is > 5 years.
Paid Medical Leave
- Employer must provide paid medical leave or hospitalization entitlement to employee who are confirmed with COVID-19 infection symptoms during the hospitalization period.
- Employer is encouraged to provide additional pay to employees who are being instructed to quarantine exceeded their sick leave or hospitalisation entitlement. This is to maintain the harmonious relation of the employee and the employer.
- It is against Section 60F if the employer does not allow paid sick leave.
Employment Act 1955 Section 60E(1B)
- Employee who are under Quarantine Order or Observation Order and Home Surveillance should not be forced to use their annual leave during the quarantine period as it is the employee’s right to be entitled to the annual leave.
- Employer should not prohibit employee from present to work if the employee is not issued a Quarantine Order or Observation Order and Home Surveillance by a registered medical practitioner. However, employer can instruct unhealthy employee to be absent from work and allow the employee to take paid leave.
Employer can take appropriate steps to avoid the termination of employment as recommended in the Tatacara Untuk Keharmonian Perusahaan as follows:
- Limit overtime;
- Reduce working days in a week or reduce the amount of work in a week;
- Reduce daily working hour
- Implement temporary lay-off in the form of temporary shutdown by offering reasonable salary and help employee to get temporary job until the operation resume;
- Reasonably reduce employee’s salary (Pay-Cut) can be done as last resort after all cost-saving measures have been implemented.
In the event of downturn in business that caused employer to reduce workers or terminate workers, the employer need to refer to Garis Panduan Pengurusan Pemberhentian Pekerja which can be obtained from the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia website, http://jtksm.mohr.gov.my.
Employer must submit Borang Pemberhentian (PK) for the purpose of notification of termination to the nearest Department of Labour at least 30 days before the below actions are taken:
- Voluntary Separation;
- Lay-Off, or
- Pay Cut
Employer who fails to comply with the above instructions, if convicted, will be fined not more than RM10,000 for every offence.
Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia has also established Bilik Gerakan Pemantauan Pemberhentian Pekerja Ekoran Wabak COVID-19 at the department level to record information on retrenchment in Peninsular Malaysia and monitor information on the labour market situation affected by the disease outbreak.
MOHR urged all employers to check their employee’s existence and identify employees who have attended the ijtimak tabligh and religious gathering in Penang. If found, employer is requested to direct the employee to declare himself and contact the nearest District Health Office for advice and further action.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Download MBAM Circular click here