Note: This story was updated on 9 June 2021 with an additional FAQ shared by the Ministry of Human Resources.
These cover employer compliance issues and more, and will apply during Phase One or during any relevant extended period of the lockdown, JTKSM noted.
The Department of Manpower Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) recently released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding employment matters during the country's total lockdown (PKP Fasa).
According to JTKSM, this set of FAQs applies to all private sector employers and employees during Phase One of the lockdown (1 June to 14 June 2021), or any relevant extended period.
These are shared below.
Q What actions should employers take?
Employers who are allowed to operate by the relevant agencies must ensure that the following are done:
- Arrange for employee attendance at the workplace to not exceed the prescribed maximum capacity;
- Limited movement of workers involved;
- Employees record their daily attendance through the MySejahtera app, provide body temperature screening tools, and record employees' body temperature readings on a daily basis;
- Provide hand sanitiser;
- Carry out necessary sanitation and cleaning processes;
- The COVID-19 Prevention Safe Work Procedures in the Workplace, issued by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), are complied with;
- Employees must wear face masks at all times; and
- Comply with the COVID-19 prevention procedures prescribed by MOH or the NSC from time to time.
Q If the employer does not comply with the employee attendance capacity set out, what action can the employee take?
Lodge a complaint with the nearest Department of Labour/ at the nearest police station / with the relevant local authority.
Q Under this total lockdown, are employers obliged to pay the employees' salaries during the PKP period?
Yes, employers are required to pay full wages. Daily wage workers must be paid according to the wage rate that has been agreed between the employer and the employee in the latest offer letter/service contract/salary increment letter.
For employees whose wages are not fixed, the daily rate shall not be less than the minimum wage rate as in the Minimum Wage Order 2020.
Q Under this total lockdown, is the employer obliged to pay the quarantined employee's salary, as a result of COVID-19?
Yes, employers are required to pay sick leave or hospitalisation sick leave for:
(i) Employees who have been quarantined by a Government/Private Health Medical Practitioner; or
(ii) Employees directed to self-quarantine by the employer.
Q If the employer refuses to pay the salary within the period, what action can the employee take?
Employees can submit complaints in the following ways:
(ii) By telephone to the nearest State JTK; or
Please submit complete information regarding the complaint, in order to facilitate the management of complaints by JTK.
Q If the employee is outside the scope of the Employment Act 1955 / Labor Ordinance (Sabah Chapter 67) / Labor Ordinance (Sarawak Chapter 76), does the employer have to pay the employee's salary for the period?
Yes, the employer is obliged to pay wages / salaries because this has been stated in the service contracts agreed on between the employer and the employee.
Q Can the employer force the employee to use the employee's annual leave or unpaid leave during the period?
No, because the order has been made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).
Q Can an employee apply through an employer to work from home?
Yes, for suitable employment, subject to the approval of the employer, based on the capacity set by the Government from time to time.
Q Should employers pay salaries and allowances to employees who work from home?
Yes, basically, the employee’s salary must be paid. However, for allowances, it is subject to the eligibility conditions provided under the contract of service.
Q Can employees from the non-service sector come to the office for the payment of employee salaries?
Yes with the following conditions:
- Employees need to apply for permission from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).
- Confirmation letter from the employer must be submitted when making an application to PDRM.
- Permission given by PDRM is on a one-off basis for a period of two to three days only.
Q If the employer defaults on this total lockdown order, is it an offence?
Yes, it is an offence under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 [Act 342].
The JTKSM has noted that for any inquiries on these issues, employers/employees can contact any Department of Manpower through the Department of Manpower Peninsular Malaysia at http://jtksm.mohr.gov.my/ms/hubungi-kami/alamat/negeri.
Note: This FAQ is a guide throughout the total lockdown, and is effective and subject to changes and modifications announced by the Government from time to time.