Malaysia wants to stop discrimination against unvaccinated staff

Employers have been told not to impose mandatory vaccination requirements on their staff or penalise those who opt not to be vaccinated.
By: | September 28, 2021

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has said employers should instead incentivise their staff to get vaccinated. 

The government-established body said it had received a number of complaints on allegations of discrimination in the form of restrictions imposed on employees who remain unvaccinated. 

Such discriminatory actions include not allowing the employees to return to work, forcing them to pay for their own COVID-19 tests, and movement restrictions when they enter workplaces. 

“Suhakam calls on the government to take immediate measures to address such issues by having a balanced approach between public health priorities and the right to be treated fairly without discrimination,” it said.  

“Additionally, the government could look into the possibility of expanding the role and function of the COVID-19 mediation centre (PMC-19) to include assistance for employees who are disputing issues related to the pandemic, including their vaccination status, with their employers.” 

Suhakam added, “The public should realise that these steps are mainly to protect the people. They may also serve as an incentive for people to obtain vaccination. “Such restrictions, however, should not hinder anyone from enjoying their basic human rights, including access to education, food and medical treatment, among others.” 

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Nevertheless, the commission agreed with measures implemented by the government which impose certain restrictions on persons who are yet to complete their vaccination and others who choose not to be vaccinated as this was necessary to curb the spread of the virus, according to Free Malaysia Today.