Confusion reigns over who should work from home

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PETALING JAYA: While supporting the government’s move to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve through the Work From Home (WFH) order, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) maintains that the latest ruling is short on details.


“There is still a lack of clarity on the requirement for the swab test, whether it will be for all staff that continue to work in the office or factory, or only those from the red zone areas, or only staff that are exempted from the WFH directive based on the flexibility provided,” said FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 21).

He also voiced concern as to the process and time needed for workers who are allowed to work at the offices and factories to get the swab tests done as this could impact operations.

He added that smaller companies, including SMEs, who would have a smaller non-production workforce, may face difficulties if limited to allowing only 10% of the management and supervisory employees to work three days a week for only four hours per day.

On the whole, Soh said FMM supported the government’s move for stricter controls aimed at reducing the rate of Covid-19 infections to avoid more serious repercussions on the people and the economy, noting the flexibility and discretion given to employers to decide on the categories of employees who can come into the office.

“The WFH order would not have too adverse an impact on operations, and thus, companies would be able to cope even if the government decides on the need to prolong the conditional movement control order,” he said.


In announcing the WFH order on Tuesday (Oct 20), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said those who are to work from home beginning Oct 22 until the conditional MCO is lifted in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan are mainly those in the management and supervisory posts.

He said workers who have to work from offices or fields and are from areas declared as red zones will have to undergo swab tests, with Socso (Social Security Organisation) bearing the testing costs for its contributors.

This decision will involve 800,000 workers in various industries as well as close to 200,000 civil servants.

On Wednesday (Oct 21), International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, said in a statement that a maximum of 10% of those in management and supervisory posts are permitted to work on site.

He said these workers will only be allowed to enter their workplaces for four hours (10am-2pm) each day, for no more than three days a week, and need to get a letter from their employers for the purpose.

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