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Wishlist: What HR and business leaders want in Malaysia Budget 2018

With the Malaysia Budget 2018 (Bajet 2018) just around the corner, prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be tabling it in the Dewan Rakyat on 27 October. Prior to this, the Malaysian government has held sessions to gather views and feedback from various stakeholders in drafting Budget 2018.

On the topic of views, we’ve gathered a few HR and business leaders to share their hopes for the Budget 2018. From employee wellness to localised systems, here are some of the key takeaways they’ve shared with Human Resources.

Flexibility in work arrangements to better retain talent

For Salika Suksuwan, executive director, human capital, PwC Malaysia, she would like to encourage firms to retain women in the workforce. For this, she hopes to see incentives or grants for companies to offer maternity leave above the mandatory requirement in the Employment Act (EA). In fact, she hopes incentives to be given to employers who adopt a flexible work arrangement.

Additionally, she hopes that the government would offer more flexibility in immigration guidelines and processes to encourage talent mobility for businesses with regional presence, especially within ASEAN.

Other than that, her wish list includes investment in technology to better manage the future workforce. She commented that the government could provide “grants or incentives for employers to upskill workforce for digital economy.”

Greater focus on employee wellness

With Malaysians expecting to work beyond retirement and Sarawak raising budget allocation to address mental health issues, employee wellness seems to be a relevant concern for industry players. This also proves to be true for industry leader and independent HR professional Kulwant Bardh - who stresses for a greater focus on staff wellness at the workplace.

He said: “In order to focus on basic building blocks of human potential, these are influenced positively to a large extent of having a healthy functioning brain. This requires a combination of different habits, such as practicing mindfulness to achieve greater awareness of self and the environment we impact.Not only that, eating the right food and encouraging exercise through the workplace for a healthy functioning brain.”

“But for HR, it’s to create a sense of purpose for employees and hiring organisational coaches with specific overall accountability for employee development - and not relying only on stressed out direct supervisors for coaching and creating purpose for employees. These are all parts of creating overall employee wellness at the workplace which impacts society positively and contributes to the nation building of better people in the community.”

Localised and customised applicant tracking system

When it comes to talent acquisition, Joachim Ooi, talent acquisition manager, Photobook Worldwide highlights the importance of localisation. Sharing on what he hopes for in the Malaysia Budget 2018, he commented:“To have a (startup) company which focuses on building an applicant tracking system that could cater to our Malaysian style of hiring where it could incorporate with the overall HRIS.”

“Most of the time, companies invest in an Applicant Tracking System and mostly coming from overseas where it's really expensive and just imagine if we have an app/system that could cater to us.”

Photo / 123RF

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