IPOH, September 3 — Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan today said that all employees, including foreign workers, should be vaccinated in order to provide a safe workplace environment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saravan said employers have the right to require their employees to be vaccinated even though there is no specific allocation or Act that requires workers to be inoculated.
“Yes, there is no specific allocation or Act that requires employees to be vaccinated.
“However, we can enforce other Acts such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, because the person who is not vaccinated is putting the workplace in possible danger of Covid-19 infection,” he told reporters after visiting the wife of late Thava Sagayam, who died from head injuries suffered during an assault while on duty as a security guard in December.
Saravanan said that the matter should not be disputed as everyone needs to be aware that the national objective is to be free from the Covid-19 infection.
“There is no need for a special allocation or Act for this. Everyone should cooperate and we need to complete the vaccination process in order to achieve herd immunity,” he said
“When a person is not vaccinated he is causing danger to the workplace and we can take action based on that.
“It is similar to the situation where if a company did not provide proper ventilation, then we can take action on them as they didn’t provide a safe workplace situation,” he explained.
On Wednesday, Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH) president Dr Shawaludin Husin said that employers can’t force their workers to be vaccinated.
He said such coercion is an inappropriate measure at this time because there is no legal provision mandating the Covid-19 vaccines on any individuals.
Shawaludin also said that Section 24 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 should not be used in this matter as it did not specifically allocate any rules for the vaccination.