Workers cry foul as some companies impose unpaid leave

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

GEORGE TOWN: Some companies and tourist attractions are reportedly forcing their employees to take unpaid leave during the two-week period of the controlled movement order which is shutting down the operations of non-essential sectors.

An employee of a tourism attraction who wished to be known only as Chew, said she had just been informed by her management executive that she would have to take unpaid leave.

"They just informed me that I would have to go on unpaid leave until March 31.

"I believe this is unfair as I don't want to be off and am not quarantined.

"If they give us unpaid leave, what will we do at the end of the month when our pay is pretty much halved?

"It's unfair as we did not expect this and it will definitely cause friction and loss of faith in our employer," she said.

Meanwhile, a web design creative agency here in Penang is instructing its staff of almost a dozen to work from home.

Its director Warren Tan said he would be paying them, but they would have to work from home during the period of the movement control order.

"I think it's unfair to ask them to take unpaid leave as they have commitments.

"I do understand that some companies are looking into that option as the whole company will suffer eventually and there needs to be give and take.

"My company will still continue with work as we maintain servers and can offer support to our clients from home.

"I have business friends who are divided about offering unpaid leave. They are conflicted as it is still unclear how long this might last.

"I, however, feel responsible for my staff," he said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (March 16) said employees forced to take unpaid leave would receive financial assistance of RM600 each month for up to six months.

“Eligible employees are those earning less than RM4,000 a month and are contributors to the Employment Insurance System (EIS) scheme, ” he said.

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