COVID-19 Vaccination: What Malaysian Employers Need To know
The covid-19 vaccine is given for various transmissions of covid-19 disease. The more people get vaccinated, the more the population develops antibodies and consequently the higher the probability of the occurrence of covid-19 disease. Indirectly it can protect at -risk groups who do not like to receive vaccinations. Most of the front liners have already been vaccinated since early 2021 and the government is now heading to the next level of the vaccination program. This is expected to continue over the next few months.
Malaysia is facing a new norm of life where the next phase is to take the covid-19 vaccine. Many efforts have been made by the government to ensure that the people get vaccinated treatment to ensure mutual safety. Next anyone who is registered for vaccination is eligible to be vaccinated. But there are still many people who do not care and consider this vaccine unnecessary. The average rate of registration by members of the public to volunteer taking the vaccine is still low and there are some advises to review the current vaccination program to achieve government goals. The FAQ below serves as a brief guide for employers to better understand the current vaccination framework in Malaysia from an employment law perspective.
1) At this critical time who is the priority in the intake of this covid-19 vaccine. who will pay for the vaccine ?
Priority vaccinations are given to the front lines, including health personnel, police officers and the elderly. The next is people who have a pre -existing health condition. The cost of vaccination will be borne by the Malaysian government for a limited period to be determined in time.
2) Is this vaccine used in a particular industry? Can employers require employees who are currently vaccinated?
At this point, vaccines are not mandated in specific industries. Employers should not require employees who are currently vaccinated unless this is agreed to contractually or voluntarily.
3) Are employees required to be compensated for time spent vaccinating, whether it occurs during normal working hours or during non -working hours?
Not applicable but recently, Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin said there were several suggestions raised at the meeting of the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) with the Human Resource Ministry, among them was a call for employers to give leave to the staff to take their vaccine shots.
4) Is there legal protection for applicants not to be vaccinated due to religious reasons or disability?
Since vaccination is not mandatory, applicants may be exempt from vaccination for religious reasons or disability.
5) Are there other legal risks that need to be considered in requiring employee vaccinations?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to ensure the safety and health of their employees. However, if an employee is forced by an employer to get a vaccine and suffers death or an adverse reaction, then the employer is arguably in violation of the same law.
6) If an employee is vaccinated on the employer's instructions, is the employer required to inform the government health department about the employee's vaccination?
Employers are not required to notify the government at this time. Vaccination programs and initiatives are currently driven by the government itself. Therefore, records are kept by the government and health.
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