Employers and unions should cooperate to minimise fear of Covid-19

13 Feb 2020 / 20:30 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Employers and trade unions should work together to ensure that the fear of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) infection is contained.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J. Solomon said there should be frequent exchanges between the two sides to allay any worries that the workers might have.

“To avoid a trust deficit, employers should not use the Covid-19 as an excuse to hoodwink their workers into sacrificing their salaries and other basic allowances.

“Employers and trade unions need to cooperate with each other to find amicable solutions to problems that arise during this period,” he said in a statement.

Solomon said that by working together, both parties could avoid suspicion at the workplace, adding that any decision to impose a quarantine should not be seen as discriminatory but as a health initiative.

“Employers should consider limiting business travel to affected areas and consider other means of communication such as video conferencing during the duration of the threat and heightened risk,” he added.

Solomon said employers have a duty to provide a workplace free from hazards, which is safe and without risk to health under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1994.

He urged employers to take steps to keep employees healthy and prevent the spread of the disease.

In China, the death toll from Covid-19 infection has surpassed 1,350.

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