Current Affairs, National

New work-from-home order is botched and causing massive confusion among workers

Press Statement by Member of Parliament for Ipoh Barat, M Kula Segaran on 22 October 2020:

The government’s work-from-home (WFH) directive has been changed too many times over the past two days without achieving any clarity for employees and businesses.

The directive has been completely botched and workers today are experiencing unnecessary problems while going to work. I have received numerous complaints that some are being stopped at roadblocks while on the way to work and are being asked to return home while some are resorting to closing their businesses rather than facing fines.

Workers and businesses are helpless, not knowing which SOPs to follow as conflicting SOPs were announced by senior Ministers, Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Mohamed Azmin Ali.

A Malay Mail article screenshot on the confusing government orders

Why can’t these two Ministers work together to finalise complete, workable and well explained SOPs, in order to make lives a little better for businesses and workers.

Please explain why there is a bias ruling for 90% of management staff to work from home while 100% of operation staff to work in office as per the graphics released by MITI? Are you telling us the lives of the operation staff are valued less than the management?

There is also no proper clarification how this percentage works for smaller businesses and what constitutes management staff? Why the absurd ruling of working for four hours for three days at the office is also ridiculous. Does Covid-19 only spread in those 4 hours? How does this help?

Workers are still unsure if they have to get swab tests before going to work or not. Despite Ismail Sabri making a U-turn on the ruling yesterday, everyone is still getting SMSes from MKN that instructs workers from red zones to get swab tests.

For illustrative purposes

Again the mixed and ever changing directives from the government are frustrating many.

The country is already facing record number job losses, business shutting down and unemployment numbers so these inconveniences are totally unnecessary. The last thing we need is adding to these numbers.

I urge the government to go back to the drawing board and nominate one Minister to be in charge with announcing the SOPs once they are final and easy to understand and follow.

I also suggest that the government have immediate meetings with Employers, Employees, Unions and NGOs for in depth consultation before making any more decisions. More thorough consultations with various stakeholders will be beneficial instead of the current haphazard approach.

M. Kula Segaran,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Barat,
National Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Action Party,
Former Human Resources Minister, Malaysia.

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