PETALING JAYA, Sep 12 (Sin Chew Daily) — A worker who is required to undergo isolation due to family members testing positive for COVID-19 should be entitled to 50% of salary or unpaid leave for half of the quarantine period, according to the latest guideline issued by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) on September 5.
If a worker undergoes isolation on his own without directive from the Ministry of Health or his employer, then he is deemed to be absent from work without applying for leave.
The guideline states that if a worker is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive and receives directive from health authorities to undergo isolation, he is entitled to full salary during quarantine period.
The guideline, signed by its MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, also states that taking into consideration the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), an employer can prohibit a staff who has not been inoculated or has not completed the vaccination process from entering the workplace.
Shamsuddin said the guideline issued by MEF should not be interpreted as being unfair to workers.
During the pandemic, many employers are badly affected and they are not financially sound as before.
The MEF is attempting to achieve a win-win situation for both the workers and the employers, he said.
Shamsuddin told Sin Chew Daily the guideline was drafted for employers who are MEF members by taking the welfare of workers into consideration.
He said if a worker’s screening test showed a negative result and was not classified as a close contact but was required by the health authorities or his employer to undergo isolation at home, then he is only entitled to 50% of salary during the quarantine period.
“This is because the worker’s status is unclear. He is not confirmed whether he is a positive case and at the same time he is not entitled to medical leave,’’ he said.
Shamsuddin said the government once offered civil servants ‘unrecorded paid leave’ but the private sector never has such practice.
“If the worker still has annual leave and does not wish to receive lower salary, then he can opt to take his annual leave for half the quarantine period,’’ he said.