Getting The Office Ready for Employees in Malaysia? Read These Official MOH Guidelines First

Blog
·
November 12, 2021
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By
Nicholas K

Employers throughout Malaysia are now preparing their physical offices for returning employees — finally. It has certainly been a long time since we’ve experienced any sort of normalcy in the office environment, with most employees forced to work from home over the last two years due to various forms of COVID-19-related restrictions. 

However, it’s absolutely essential that employers and employees work together to ensure that everyone’s health remains a priority. This includes adhering to the rules and regulations from the governing authorities, which are dependent upon the government’s National Recovery Plan, while there are also certain safety measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission between employees. 

If you’re an employer or a HR professional, you bear the responsibility to ensure that all necessary preventive measures (under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) — and you might be wondering how to best prepare the workplace. We’ve previously gone through a couple of must-do’s in the past, and now, the Ministry of Health has released an updated set of COVID-19 Management Guidelines for Workplaces in Malaysia

Here are some key takeaways that you, as employers in Malaysia, need to be aware of. 

1. Prevention and control measures

It’s important that you encourage your employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 under the National COVID-19  Immunisation Programme. This is to ensure that the company, and nation in general, can protect itself against the pandemic. To that end, ensure that employees are regularly reminded to: 

  • Maintain physical distance of at least 1 metre 
  • Practice personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette 
  • Practice hand hygiene with regular and through hand-washing 
  • Use a mask in areas where social distancing is impossible/impractical

You should also take steps to identify employees that are vulnerable to the virus, such as the elderly or those with underlying conditions. Extra precautions and attention for symptoms should be given to this particular group. 

2. MySejahtera 

You’ll also need to register your premise with MySejahtera, before generating a QR code that must be displayed at the entrance of your workplace — both employees and visitors are required by law to sign in before entering.

To do this, you’ll need to follow these steps: 

  • Head over to the MySejahtera website. Here, click on Services, and select MySejahtera Check-In. Follow the instructions and fill in the relevant information on the page. 
  • Once the QR code has been generated, you can choose to email/download a soft copy for your safekeeping. 
  • Print the MySejahtera code, and place it at the entrance of your office. Avoid placing the QR code behind reflective surfaces to ensure that the scanning process goes smoothly. 

If you need more information on this, we’ve also prepared a comprehensive guide to creating your own MySejahtera code here.

3. Workplace etiquette  

The Ministry of Health also advises that all employees entering the workplace are screened for the following:  

  • Temperature: Individuals with temperatures of >37.5°C must seek attention at the nearest medical facility 
  • Symptoms: Individuals displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 such as cough, sore throat, complete and sudden loss of taste and smell, and/or difficulty breathing should seek immediate attention at the nearest medical facility. 
  • Close contact: individuals with close contact to positive or suspected cases should not work in the physical office space. 

Besides the implementation of a MySejahtera QR code at the entrance of your workplace or business premise, you should also enforce hand sanitisation at the entrance. Place a hand sanitiser at a convenient spot, and communicate this mandatory requirement to all employees prior to returning to the office. 

Here are a couple of workplace guidelines that should be adhered to: 

  • Regular cleaning and disinfection of the entire workplace 
  • No physical contact policy — handshakes, fist-bumps, hugs, etc.
  • Easy access to hand-washing stations 
  • Strict adherence to SOPs at common areas (mask, social distancing, etc.)
  • Limited occupancy to capacity of individual rooms 
  • Consider virtual meetings in place of face-to-face/group meetings 

4. What happens if an employee develops symptoms at the workplace? 

If one of your employees develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 at the workplace, the Ministry of Health advises employers to follow the following steps: 

  • The employee’s supervisor should isolate the individual from the general work area
  • Mandate that the employee wears a face mask at all times
  • Ensure that the employee seeks medical attention at the nearest health facility immediately 
  • Any individual that accompanies this employee must wear a face mask as well

If any positive cases of COVID-19 are detected among your employees, the medical officer/doctor should notify the case to the nearest District Health Office (DHO) immediately. If a positive result is detected on a self-test kit, the notification should be entered via the MySejahtera application. Management should then be prepared to assist in close-contact tracing efforts by the authorities, while other employees should be given a Home Surveillance Order (HSO) — working from home. 

Finally, disinfection of the entire workplace should be carried out as soon as possible. You will need to follow directives from the authorities on potential closures of the workplace. 

Mental health assessments for employees are advised. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful period for everyone involved, and it’s crucial that the mental aspect of everyday health isn’t neglected. Make sure that you keep an eye on sick leave and absenteeism among employees — reach out to your team members and check on their overall health from time to time.

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Get ready for the return to the office with Digi’s super app, altHR

At the end of the day, the decision to return to the office (or not) is entirely up to you, the employers. If you’re still stuck on this decision, click here for our detailed breakdown on the pros and cons of each and every work arrangement for Malaysian employers. 

Regardless of which work model/arrangement you opt for, it’s critical to ensure that the transition — from the office, to the office, or to a hybrid model — is made as seamless as possible. Enter: Digi’s super app, altHR

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Keeping track of everything can be challenging, particularly for employers and HR professionals in the SME sector — but it doesn’t have to be. The world is going increasingly digital these days, and this trend is set to continue in the years to come. HR professionals are often faced with daunting, often tedious tasks on a daily basis — tasks that have become even more difficult to handle in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

But help is available, if you know where to look. Let us streamline your HR processes by managing and automating day-to-day tasks, so you won’t have to worry about things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges. Instead, focus on the crucial pillars of your business, and the happiness of your employees. 

Sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from payroll and onboarding, to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done it the old way long enough.

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