Talks ongoing on vaccine day off for foreign workers

All stakeholders involved in the employment of foreign workers have agreed ‘in principle’ that workers should take the day off

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic RAZAK GHAZALI

THE Human Resources Ministry will continue to engage with stakeholders involved in the employment of foreign workers to ensure workers are granted a day off on the day of their inoculation.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said all stakeholders have agreed “in principle” that workers should take the day off for the vaccination although many are still hesitant of the impact it has on their daily operations.

“Before we make further announcements on this matter, I want to engage with the stakeholders to make sure we are on the same page,” he told reporters after the launching of the Human Resources Development Fund Placement Centre (HPC) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Malaysian Reserve previously reported that the biggest concern in the vaccination of foreign workers is to get in touch with those undocumented.

Saravanan said the government has also stipulated that all foreign workers who come into the country must have their induction costs paid.

“Probably in the next coming weeks, there will be new Acts and no more foreign workers will be abused. The new Acts will be known as Working for Workers, so any foreign workers coming into this country must know the law, their rights, the dos and don’ts,” he said.

He said the country’s reliance on foreign workers continues to stem from Malaysians’ reluctance to pick up “dirty, dangerous and demeaning” (3D) jobs, which are often relegated to foreign workers.

“I am looking at jobs under the manufacturing, plantation and construction sectors, which are all in dire need of foreign workers and despite being made available on MyFutureJob, there are no takers.

“For example, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd is suffering a huge loss because there is no one to harvest their fruits,” he said.

The HPC was launched to address the nation’s talent development needs, with a target to provide over 50,000 job placement and income-generating opportunities for Malaysians.

Saravanan said the HPC is an initiative that complements the ministry’s existing efforts to address unemployment challenges faced by the nation.

“Beyond immediate placements, Malaysians from a diverse range of backgrounds, skillsets and experiences will be able to get the support and guidance they need to jumpstart and build their careers,” he said.

The HPC is a one-stop portal that will match employers from a wide range of industries and sectors to the correct candidates to fill vacancies, offer training and address skill gaps, as well as allow Malaysians to connect with various coaches for advice.

The HPC was launched by Saravanan and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

Tengku Zafrul said with the launch of the HPC, public and private collaboration will be institutionalised along with the creation of employment opportunities.