News | Industries Unite: Vital for fully vaccinated employees to return physically to work

KUALA LUMPUR: Employees fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and who are afforded vaccination privileges should be automatically allowed to return to work in their respective offices immediately without having to apply for any more permits.

Datuk Irwin Cheong and Datuk David Gurupatham of Industries Unite (IU) said this in a joint appeal to the government.

The appeal, which was put forth by IU, a coalition of 117 trade associations and chambers of commerce also included Malaysia Shopping Malls Association; Malaysia Retailers Association; Malaysia Retail Chain Association; Bumiputra Retailers Organisation; Malaysia REIT Managers Association; Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions; and Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors.

Those fully vaccinated, they said should be allowed to work as usual in all sectors whether ‘essential’ or not.

“If a particular sector exists, it is already playing an essential role in the eco-system and supply chain.”

In permitting this, they said, it would alleviate the current backlog in applications and delays and uncertainties in approvals either from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) or other authorities, besides re-starting and reviving Malaysia’s battered economy.

They said those at work under their respective vaccination privileges should be exempted from the count of the existing maximum of 60 per cent for Phase 1 and 80 per cent for Phase 2 of total employees allowed to go back physically to work.

“We are indeed elated that the country is transiting into an endemic environment and that many more economic sectors and activities have been allowed to be re-opened.

“We reiterate it is not possible to have a comprehensive list of economic activities and invariably some sectors will be inadvertently missed out, leading to the tedious and long delays to appeal and obtain approvals.

“One glaring activity is the general office functions including co-working sectors which are crucial in support of the administration and management of the operations which are now allowed to reopen.

“As most businesses are in a critical state of survival, time is of paramount essence to re-open and operate efficiently and productively for better chance of revival and recovery.”

Cheong and Gurupatham said with Covid-19 becoming endemic, there is no need to restrict capacity for the office and co-working sectors.

This, they said was because a 100 per cent physical return to work will allow businesses to restart immediately in full operations, thus putting the economy on the path towards recovery at a faster pace.

“It is very pertinent to note that employees contribute significantly to spending in the domestic economic systems, especially for food and beverage, which will create the much needed multiplier effect for overall rapid revival of our country’s economy.

“The beginning of recovery of our economy is very dependent on a thriving domestic demand as there is unlikely to be any international tourist arrivals for the immediate foreseeable future.”

They added that all fully vaccinated public sector employees should also return physically to work in their offices to mirror the private sector to prevent unwarranted bureaucracy bottlenecks hampering the business recovery process which is already gradually underway. – NST

by Tharanya Arumugam

kredit gambar: Berita Harian

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