KUALA LUMPUR – Only a maximum of 10% of managerial or supervisory-level employees in selected fields will be allowed to work in the office for a restricted time and duration from tomorrow until the end of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said on October 21.
Those fields include accounting, finance, administration, law, planning and information and communications technology (ICT). These employees will only be permitted to work in the office for four hours, from 10am to 2pm, for three days a week.
MITI has outlined the guidelines for companies operating in areas placed under the CMCO, such as Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya. It follows the National Security Council’s (NSC) announcement on October 20 instructing managerial and supervisory-level employees to work from home (WFH) starting from October 22.
“Companies do not need to submit applications for this purpose. Employers only need to issue a travel release letter for each employee who is allowed to work during the CMCO period,” Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said in a media statement on October 21.
Meanwhile, those that do not need to be in the office should WFH, and employers must set the appropriate WFH guidelines according to the needs of their respective companies, Mohamed Azmin said.
“Taking joint responsibility to protect the health of the people and employees, MITI will immediately implement the NSC’s decision for the industry to introduce a WFH policy for staff management and supervision as a measure to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in areas undergoing the CMCO,” he said.
The WFH directive, which has been enforced since yesterday in areas under CMCO, will only apply to the public sector and industries under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), according to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
In his daily security press conference on October 21, Ismail clarified that civil servants in essential services, security and those that are classified as critical, are not affected by this directive.
Besides that, employees in the informal sector are also exempted from the order.
“Workers who are employed in the retail business, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores as well as in the plantation and agriculture sectors are allowed to work as usual in accordance with the SOPs (standard operating procedures) that have been set under CMCO.
“Police and armed forces personnel, employees of public transport companies, taxi drivers, e-hailing and delivery services can also work as usual,” Ismail said.
On a separate matter, Ismail has also clarified that the mandatory COVID-19 test for workers in red zones only applies to foreign workers.
Other employees in red zone areas are only “highly recommended” to go through the swab test but the government is not making it mandatory.
“The swab test is mandatory for foreign workers, such as those in the construction sector or [those] working as security guards, and those with symptoms. They must be tested,” he said.
“Swab tests are highly recommended [for local workers] so that infections can be detected early to avoid the emergence of new clusters in workplaces.
“Our advice is to get this done so that workers’ health status can be determined to avoid them from endangering their families and co-workers,” Ismail added.