Even if just one employee contracts Covid-19, the entire operations of any firm will be shut down, said Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“The government recently shut down the construction site on Jalan Ampang because we detected positive cases there,” cited the Senior Minister as an example during an interview with NST published today, reports Malay Mail and Yahoo News.
Employers need to take responsibility to ensure their employees don’t contract the virus as they will suffer financial consequences otherwise, he added.
Ismail explained that this is done in line with the government’s adoption of a hyper-focused approach towards tackling the virus. Instead of the blanket approach that was previously used, authorities are now locking down very specific areas where cases of the disease are detected.
“The reason we instructed for the compulsory screening is because we want to save their businesses by saving their employees,” added the Defence Minister, to reinforce the regulation which specified that all foreign workers are subject to a Covid-19 swab test before getting cleared to resume work.
“We’ve already said Socso will pay for the Covid-19 test for all of its contributors,” said Ismail Sabri. While this supposedly takes care of the 60 percent of foreign workers who reportedly contribute to the fund, the Senior Minister said employers could make other arrangements to offset the costs of testing for non-contributing employees.
“For example, the employer can deduct RM50 monthly from the workers’ salary. At the end of the day, employers are responsible for their workers because, without these employees, the companies won’t be able to operate, right?” added the minister.
Ismail Sabri then urged employers to treat their workers with respect, “Treat your employees as you would your family members. Like it or not, we all have to make sacrifices.”
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