PETALING JAYA | The authorities can take action against workers who refuse to be vaccinated for Covid-19 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pic).
The Human Resource Minister said although there were no special provisions on vaccinations, action can still be taken, as the Occupational Safety and Health Act ensures a safer and healthier working environment.
According to a report by Sinar Harian, Saravanan said workers who refuse to be vaccinated can be deemed as an occupational hazard to their fellow colleagues at their respective workplaces.
“We don’t have any rules or acts that compel workers to be vaccinated, but we can use the Occupational Safety and Health Act to take action,” he said
“We should not dispute the need to be vaccinated because the public is aware that we want to be free from Covid-19. So we need to do it together by getting vaccinated,” he was quoted as saying on Friday (Sept 3).
Saravanan was speaking to reporters after distributing Perkeso handouts to the family members of a security guard who recently died after being attacked by an individual at Taman Buntong Ria last year.
Saravanan said there isn’t a need for a new act to expedite vaccination, because every resident in Malaysia, regardless of their nationality, should be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Saravanan also said that if premises do not have a safe air ventilation system according to present regulations, then the authorities can take action under the same Act.
On Aug 30, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) urged employers not to sack workers who refused to be vaccinated, as they argued that the issue must be handled ethically.
MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor said companies must consider the needs of workers who refused to be vaccinated, as there are many factors behind an individual’s refusal to be inoculated against Covid-19.