Malaysia mulls giving more power to JTKSM to police WFH SOP

The Department of Labour could be given more authority to penalise companies who fail to comply to WFH orders.
By: | June 1, 2021

Malaysia’s National Security Council (NSC) is considering giving more legal authority to the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) to take action against errant employers who disregard the work from home (WFH) SOP. 

There is currently no legal provision that grants JTKSM the authority to penalise employers, and only the Health Ministry under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 has the power to take employers who disregard the WFH law to task, said human resources minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan. 

He added, “Therefore, we suggest for the JTKSM to be given the authority to issue compounds to employers who fail to obey the work from home SOP, and this will be brought to the NSC… The Movement Control Order Technical Committee had agreed that the JTKSM can take action, based on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.” 

Saravanan said any employer or company which does not comply with the WFH SOP can be issued a compound of RM50,000 (US$12,089) or RM10,000 (US$2,418) for individuals. 

The HR ministry has received numerous complaints that private businesses continued to force their employees to turn up for work at offices despite the WFH regulation announced by the government recently, he said. 

READ: Malaysian SMEs told to self-enforce MCO SOPs

In the government’s latest measure to flatten the COVID-19 curve, about 80% of civil service staff and 40% private sector workers were told to WFH. The measure, which started on May 25, is estimated to affect 750,000 government staff and about 6.1 million private-sector employees, according to the New Straits Times.