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Malaysia's Conditional MCO takes effect: What HR and employers should know

Malaysia's Conditional MCO takes effect: What HR and employers should know


Malaysia's Prime Minister Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Friday (1 May) a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that will take effect in the country from today (4 May). 

Under this CMCO, starting today, almost all sectors of the economy and business activities will be allowed to operate, subject to the terms and standard operating procedures set by the authorities.

However, PM Muhyiddin highlighted that the following groups of activities are still not allowed/will remain closed:

  • Businesses or activities that involve public gatherings and social interaction or contact (conferences, exhibitions, entertainment centres, theme parks, Ramadan/Aidilfitri bazaars, etc.);
  • Sports activities such as football, rugby, swimming, and all indoor and stadium sports events, which essentially involve public gatherings and body contact as well; 
  • Social, civic, and cultural events involving public gatherings such as feasts, open houses, public breakfasts, concerts, cultural performances, government, and private department monthly assemblies and all forms of opening and assemblies;
  • Religious activities such as religious parades, Friday prayers, and all other congregations at mosques, prayer houses and houses of worship;
  • Cross-border travel except for the purpose of attending work or returning home after having to stay elsewhere during the MCO;
  • Trips out of the country to celebrate Aidilfitri;
  • All schools and institutes of higher education;

A full list of activities that are still not allowed is available on the National Security Council's website.

Apart from this list, all business and industry sectors, as well as public and social sectors, are now allowed to operate subject to adherence to the SOPs; outdoor sports that do not involve such contact or gatherings (jogging, biking, golfing, etc.) will now be allowed. 

Employers urged to implement flexible working arrangements, safe distancing 

In order to avoid congestion and crowds at public transport stations and in public vehicles, PM Muhyiddin has encouraged all employers to implement flexible working hours for employees. This will also help minimise contact between employees where possible.

Additionally, if the job allows for it, employers are also urged employers to encourage employees to work from home, a "new norm to adopt", as shared by PM Muhyiddin. Employers could even provide flexible arrangements - for instance, instead of coming into office every day, they can come in on alternate days and work from home on the days they don't - something that could especially benefit employees with children.

As for civil servants, the government has advised those starting to operate today to work from home, except when the work process needs to be done in office. Employers should also consider holding meetings online on a secure platform. PM Muhyiddin shared: "I ask that all Head of Departments hold discussions at their respective departments to restructure the human resource needs of the department by focusing on the concept of working from home."

On top of all this, employers have to ensure daily temperature taking is implemented at the workplace, and to advise employees to head home or seek medical attention immediately if they are experiencing a high temperature; Employers should also safe distancing among work stations.

Above all, the government has implemented MySejahtera and MyTrace, which everyone with smartphones are advised to download to help the Ministry of Health with contact tracing in the event of a new infection. 

Speaking about the"new norm" in a separate statement cited by Bernama, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan also urged employers and employees to adopt it as a daily routine, while at the workplace.

In line with this, the Ministry of Human Resources will continue to "intensify enforcement interventions and inspections" at workplaces, to ensure all employers have complied with the SOPs provided.

He added: "Officials of the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) are empowered and are responsible for these duties as enshrined under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342)."

 Photo / Screengrab of PM Muhyiddin's speech

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