COVID-19 a national crisis, let workers take leave for vaccination

THE Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) hurled brickbats against Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan for leaving the option of granting workers leave of absence to get vaccinated at the hands of employers.

“Saravanan is missing the forest for the trees. If you want to create herd immunity against COVID-19, employers must cooperate in this effort to ensure their employees get inoculated.

“On this score, it is our view that employers have an option and, that is, to grant unrecorded paid leave to employees who wants get vaccinated,” its Penang chapter secretary K Veeriah told FocusM.

K Veeriah

Yesterday, Bernama reported Saravanan as saying that it would depend on employers to grant their staffers leave to get vaccinated as the Government cannot declare a special holiday, as it is not carried out on the same day.

Recently, Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Khairy Jamaluddin said there were suggestions raised at a meeting between the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) and the Human Resource Ministry.

Among the ideas mooted was a call for employers to provide leave of absence to their staff to take their vaccine shots.

Veeriah reminded the Government that workplace clusters are the largest contributor to the COVID-19 cases, and making the vaccination process easier for employees works in the best interest of employers.

“That reason itself is good enough of a justification to make the inoculation process easy for our workforce. Not only will it create a herd immunity, it will also instill confidence among the public,” he opined.

The veteran unionist added: “Are employers prepared to forgo their moral and civic corporate responsibilities to ensure that their workers are vaccinated?

“If the response is in the affirmative, then the Government should enforce, through a decree, that employers grant a paid leave of absence to workers to get their shots.” – April 11, 2021.

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