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Covid-19 Vaccination Leave? Malaysia Already Approved It In April 2021 (Kind Of)

Covid-19 Vaccination Leave? Malaysia Already Approved It In April 2021 (Kind Of)

Ministers, MEF and MTUC agree that time-off must be given to get vaccinated, whether it’s paid time-off is another issue.

Kirat Kaur

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As Klang Valley residents signed up for their AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination shots this May, one of the biggest questions is “Do I get a day off work for taking my vaccine?”

Well, as it turns out Malaysia has actually approved Covid-19 vaccination leave in April 2021.

Earlier in April, the Human Resources Ministry gave the green light for employers to grant their employees leave to take Covid-19 vaccine shot.

Credit: mediaMB Terengganu via KKM

But there’s a catch

Despite being in support of it, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said that it’s up to the employer to grant the leave because “the government cannot declare a special holiday as it is not carried out on the same day.”

Shortly after his announcement, Malaysian Employers Federation President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman JP released a statement urging private sector employers to provide employees time off to be inoculated.

However, he too stressed that paid leave for vaccination must be at the discretion of the employers, arguing that one day of paid leave would cost private sector employers in Malaysia a total of about RM904 million.

MEF would like to propose to the government to allow employers to send their employees to vaccination centres in batches to facilitate transport arrangements and other logistics.

Malaysian Employers Federation President Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman JP via HR Resources Online.
Credit: jcomp/Freepik

It should be noted, however, that a vast majority of Malaysia’s Covid-19 clusters are currently from workplace infections as well educational sectors.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) also argues that a paid day off to undergo Covid-19 vaccination should be made mandatory for employees in four core sectors:

  1. manufacturing
  2. automotive
  3. services
  4. construction

Its acting president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani told New Straits Times that while a paid day off would cost employers, employees who are unwell would cost the company even more.

After all, he argues, these four core sectors play a huge role in the economy.

Once they have been vaccinated, it would allow these companies to work in full force, thus indirectly improving the company and its employees.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress acting president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani to NST.

So is there any confirmation?

Credit: Unsplash & Malay Mail

Well, Science, Innovation & Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said that he would bring the matter up with the Human Resources Ministry at the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJAV) meeting.

At the time Khairy assures that: “Employers cannot stop workers from keeping their vaccination appointments.”

So can you take Covid-19 vaccination leave? The answer for now is: “Yes, but it’s up to your bosses whether or not they’ll cut it from your pay.”


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