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6:32pm 30/06/2022
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Consult employers first before implementing flexi work arrangements

PETALING JAYA: Beginning September 1, employees can apply for flexible work arrangements with their employers.

However, the SME Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) feel that the government should first consult the employers, employees and other interested parties before implementing the new measure.

Employers need to be consulted first

MTUC deputy president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani told Sin Chew Daily the policy is a brand new concept in this country and as such, the government should seek the opinions of employers as well as employees before implementing it.

He urged the government to bring this matter to the National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC) for discussion to get the feedback from employers and employees alike.

We urge the government to initiate the discussions with all the interested parties before September 1 so that the new law can be implemented smoothly and fully complied with by all quarters.”

It is learned that the government has agreed to convene the meeting on July 15.

Effendy said he did not think that employers would be worried about their employees being lazy at work, but are more concerned about the the policy’s impact on company operation, given the fact manpower shortage is common in many economic sectors today.

I believe the employers are more worried about their manpower needs.”

But most importantly, he said there must be consensus from both the employers and employees in the implementation of this policy.

We don’t want to force any company to eventually cut the salaries of their workers or turn them into contract workers.”

Although under the new law all employees will be allowed to apply for flexible working arrangements, the employers have the right to reject any application.

It depends on the nature of job and the situation of the industry itself and whether a consensus is reached between both sides.”

Acute manpower shortage

Meanwhile, SME Association of Malaysia national president Ding Hong Sing said it is unreasonable to demand that employers in the SME sector are required to reply in writing whether to accept the employee’s application for flexible working arrangements within 60 days because labor shortage is serious among the country’s SMEs at this moment.

He feels that the government should first consult the employers and other interested parties before making the sudden announcement, adding that flexible working arrangements may not be suitable for every industry, citing the example of factory operators and restaurant waiters.

He said employers may also worry about company production if allow their employees to work from home.

Please don’t make life difficult for local businesses now suffering from acute labor shortage.”

He also urged the company to expedite the approval for migrant workers to return to Malaysia to help revive the national economy.

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