Employers’ group in Malaysia says vaccination should remain voluntary

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has said vaccinations are still on a voluntary basis unless the government makes it mandatory for workers.
By: | April 26, 2021

MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said employers who force their staff to get COVID-19 vaccinations are violating human rights. 

However, he added that employers should encourage their staff to get the vaccination. “To encourage vaccinations, employers can inform their employees that the company will not bear the cost of treatment if they are infected with COVID-19,” he said. 

Nevertheless, he said employees could reach out to the authorities if they felt the company has infringed on their rights. 

Every worker has the right to choose whether to be vaccinated or not, said Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani, deputy president of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).  

Effendy said more awareness should be given to employees on the importance of getting vaccinated instead. “MTUC suggests that employers should take more proactive action by organising talks on why everyone needs to be vaccinated,” he said. 

READ: 8.8% of Malaysian workers paid below minimum wage

As the manufacturing, industrial, automotive and construction sectors have reported many clusters, Effendy said vaccine awareness programmes should be targeted at those working in these sectors. 

They were commenting on the results of a survey by a human resources firm which showed that 70% of Malaysian employers would like to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all their staff, according to Free Malaysia Today.