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FAQs on work-from-home regulations in CMCO areas in Malaysia: Who can return to office, stipulated hours, and more

FAQs on work-from-home regulations in CMCO areas in Malaysia: Who can return to office, stipulated hours, and more

Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), related to the recent tightening of work-from-home requirements in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO, or PKPB). In particular, these FAQs cover information including the number of hours companies are allowed to operate for, the number of staff allowed in office at any one time, and more, as shared below.

Generic questions

Q Can my company operate during the PKPB period?

Yes. All economic and industrial (manufacturing) activities can operate without the approval of MITI, subject to the SOP set by the National Security Council (MKN).

Q Do I need to apply for any permit from MITI through the COVID-19 Intelligence Management System (CIMS) database to operate throughout PKPB?

No need.

Q Can my company operate 24 hours?

MKN has listed some economic activities that have specific operating hours - refer to its website for a list of these activities. Economic and industrial activities are different from those listed by the MKN (such as such as manufacturing, ports, essential products and others) can operate without any operating time restrictions.

Q Can I send goods to locations in PKPB area using commercial vehicles?

Commercial vehicles carrying goods and services are allowed in and out using employee passes or employer permission letters.

Am I allowed to cross the state for work/business purposes?

Movement of workers in the PKPB area is allowed and employees must bring an employee pass or employer permission letter. Employees who need to cross the state for work in the PKPB area are allowed to do so, by bringing an employee pass or employer permission letter.

Q Can all my employees come to work?

Employee attendance management is at the discretion of the company. However, companies is encouraged to allow employees to work from home during the PKPB period. However, in any case, the company must comply with the prescribed SOP.

Q What is the SOP throughout PKPB?

Please visit the MKN's website to refer to the latest SOP.

Q What can I do if the company does not comply with the PKPB SOP?

You can report company non-compliance at the nearest police station.

Work-from-home instructions to comply with

Q What does work-from-home (BDR) practice mean?

The practice of BDR refers to the implementation of office duties in their respective homes in accordance with the procedures guidelines set by the employer according to the needs of their respective companies.

Q Is BDR practice required for employees in all industries?

The industry should implement BDR for management and supervisory group staff, which include tasks involving investment, finance, administration, law, planning and ICT.

Only 10% of the management and supervisory group can be in the office, limited to four hours, from 10am to 2pm, three days a week. For example, if there are 10 or less people in the management and supervision group, only one is allowed to come to the office at a time.

The company may establish a rotation system to appoint representatives of the management and supervisory groups who need to be in office. The company is also advised to prepare a list of employees involved in BDR as well as in the company's operations for the reference of the authorities, and if required, the employer must issue a travel release letter for each employee who is allowed to work during this PKPB period.

For workers in other sectors categorised as informal sectors, such as retail, food, plantation, agriculture, hawkers, restaurants, food stalls, grocery stores and convenience stores are allowed to work as usual according to the PKPB SOP. Employees in transportation services such as public transport, express bus, LRT, taxi, and delivery service can also work as usual.

Q What is meant by management and supervisory groups?

Management and supervisory groups are subject to company policy.

Q Can the employer change the time that has been set for employees working in the office?

No. Employers must comply with the rules of frequency and duration of work in the office, which is a maximum of three days a week for four, hours every day from 10am to 2pm.

Q What actions do employers need to take if employees do not want to come to work and want BDR?

Employers can take action at the discretion and procedure of the company based on relevant government and Act policies. For any further inquiries on such matters, please refer to the Department of Manpower.

Q Do employees who need to go to the office need to undergo COVID-19 screening?

Only compulsory for foreign workers in the construction sector, security guards and all workers from the red zone.

Registration for the CIMS

Q How can I register for CIMS?

You can visit to register and follow the instructions from page to page. Do not put ‘www’ in this registration URL.

Q Do all businesses need to be registered with CIMS?

All types of businesses can register on the CIMS. Although registration is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged because this system is a reference source for the Royal Malaysia Police.

Q I am already registered in the previous version of CIMS. Do I need to register once again?

No, registration on the CIMS only needs to be done once.

Q I cannot update my employee's information on CIMS. What do I need to do?

If you cannot update your information on CIMS, please email the CIMS technical team at [email protected] or [email protected]. For the list of employees, make sure you use the template provided in the system.

Q Why does my registration confirmation letter have another date and is this letter valid?

If you make an update on a certain date, the date of the letter printed at that time will still be according to the date of the day you made the first deposit. Don't worry, this letter is still valid.


1) It is the joint responsibility of all industry parties to understand and comply with all instructions of the MKN and also the COVID-19 Prevention SOP issued by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM), in order to jointly reduce the risk and curb pandemic transmission of COVID-19.

2) Any recent changes by the NSC and KKM will be made notified from time to time.


This set of FAQs comes in line with the National Security Council's decision for work-from-home to be made compulsory for employees in the private and public sectors, in management and supervisory roles, in the CMCO areas effective 22 October 2020.

On this, the MITI noted that, as shared in the FAQs above, taking into account the needs of the industry which requires the presence of a small number of management and supervisory employees, a maximum of 10% of employees involved in tasks such as accounting, finance, administration, legislation, planning and ICT to return for a set of restricted hours.I

In line with this move, the Expatriate Services Division, under the Immigration Department of Malaysia, has stated that all its counter services in Putrajaya and Mutiara Damansara will be temporarily closed effective the same day, until further notice. All application processes will operate as usual through the online systems. However, there will be some delays with the process.

The ESD also highlighted that any appointments made through MYHelp via ESD online, that have been approved and confirmed for the period between 14 October 2020 to 27 October 2020, are required to be rescheduled via MYHelp. Additionally, all appointments will be held online with no physical/in-person appointments until further notice.

Lead image and infographics / Ministry of International Trade and Industry's Facebook page

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