Ismail Sabri: Police cannot decide who gets to go to work and who works from home at roadblocks, onus on bosses

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said an employer's letter and work pass should suffice for workers to be allowed through roadblocks. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said an employer's letter and work pass should suffice for workers to be allowed through roadblocks. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, October 24 — Police at roadblocks cannot stop workers from travelling to their places of employment across districts and areas under regulated movement, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

He said all employees need do is show the officers at the roadblocks their letter of permission from employers or a work pass from the office.

“Actually, the one who decides as to who works from home and who works from office, are the employers, and mostly it is determined by the respective employers.

“For those working in offices, employers (can) issue them a permission letter to cross districts for work, or they just need their work passes even if they do not have a letter.

“So at the roadblocks, it is not the officers manning the roadblocks who decide on who works in offices and who works from home. The most important thing is if the employee has a letter to work from the office or a worker’s pass, this means there can be no orders to prevent them from going to work. Which means, the police have to allow them to go to work because they have proven that they have an employer’s letter and the employee pass, and with that, they can go straight to their offices.

“I believe we did not list it out to the police at the roadblocks as to who works where,” he added.

The minister was commenting on recent incidents where the police at road blocks had stopped some employees who are not in the managerial or supervisory positions from travelling to work.

He also noted that depending on the industries, some workers must be present at office to carry out their duties, regardless of the departments they are in.

Ismail also expressed hope that his explanation today would end confusion and does not create much issues at all the police roadblocks.

On Wednesday, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali  said that a total 776,135 of the 3.1 million workers in the Klang Valley, Sabah and Labuan must work from home starting October 22 in line with the National Security Council’s decision, minister.

Azmin, who heads the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), noted that the 776,135 workers or 25 per cent of the 3.1 million workers are those in management and supervisory roles, based on feedback received from the industry.

“However, taking into account the needs of industries that need the presence of a small number of workers at the management and supervisory level, Miti agrees to allow a maximum 10 per cent of workers covering among others tasks that involve accounting, finance, administration, law, planning and ICT to be in the office which is limited to just four hours only from 10am to 2pm for three days a week,” he said in a statement.

Azmin said companies do not have to submit applications for these workers falling under the maximum 10 per cent category, adding that employers will only have to issue letters for approval for travel for each employee who is allowed to work throughout the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

“Employers have to determine Work From Home guidelines that are suitable, according to the needs of their respective companies,” he said.

Separately in a Facebook post Azmin urged companies to make work from home a new practise to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections spreading, also saying that industries or workers who have problems with the work from home concept can channel their questions to [email protected] or Miti’s social media platforms.

Amid public confusion and questions on whether the maximum 10 per cent referred to all staff or just staff at the management level, Miti shared several infographics on Facebook and Twitter to illustrate its point.

Miti then gave an example of a manufacturing company with 1,000 operations staff and 100 management and supervisory staff working at the office, explaining that the 1,000 operations staff can continue work as usual and do not have to work from home, while only 10 per cent of the 100 management staff (amounting to just 10 persons) are allowed to work at the office based on the allowed time.

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