Look into WFH, flexi hours to help workers with childcare problems, says PM

PETALING JAYA: Employers should look into flexi hours and working from home to make it easier for their employees without babysitters, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said that as industries and businesses open up, parents may be wary of sending their infants and children to nurseries that would be allowed to operate under the conditional movement control order (MCO) announced earlier Friday (May 1).

Muhyiddin urged employers to be more considerate of employees with children as kindergartens and schools would still closed under the conditional MCO.

"Even though all economic sectors will be opened, employers can encourage workers to work from home. This is the new norm. Perhaps they can work (from the office) on alternate days.

"This will also solve the babysitting problem. Even though nurseries would be opened with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for health, I know many parents are worried about sending their children there.

"If employers can be more lenient with couples to come to work alternately, this would solve the childcare problem.

"Today, the wife works from home, the husband works from office. Tomorrow the husband works from home, the wife works from office. So, the children need not be sent to the nurseries, except for those with no other options.

“This will also lessen the number of children at childcare centres and it will be easier to practise the health SOPs," he said.

Muhyiddin added that for the civil service, the government has encouraged its staff to work from home except those services that require an office presence.

"Online meetings using safe mediums are also encouraged. For those facing childcare problems, the government allows staff to take turns as well as flexi hours," he said in his Labour Day speech while announcing the easing of the MCO to allow most economic activities to operate beginning May 4.

He also advised employers to enable flexi hours so as to avoid congestion on the road and at public transport terminals.

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