Attributed to Alvin Yuan, Chief Executive Officer of HealthMetrics
In the wake of the nationwide controlled movement order announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (16th March), how have companies/businesses been affected and what steps do you recommend employers take in order to ensure that employees are taken care of?
HealthMetrics welcomes the government's efforts to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and recommends social distancing, working remotely where possible and proactive hygiene habits.
During this worrying time, businesses across various industries will have to manage their resources during this challenging time due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
It is heartening to see that the Human Resources Ministry has encouraged employers to apply sections 60F and Section 60E (1B) of the Employment Act 1995 to help their employees as much as possible with medical expenses in the event that they require medical examination and remuneration on sick leaves, without compromising their annual leave. In order to allocate a dedicated budget for medical expenses and remuneration for Covid-19 related examinations, it is advisable to monitor and track all symptomatic cases as accurately as possible to curb the spread of the virus.
Furthermore, it is important for employers to note that the symptoms of seasonal influenza and Covid-19 are very similar. With another wave of seasonal influenza fast approaching, employers should be aware that the similarities in symptoms may cause heightened distress for employers & employees. Companies that have already vaccinated their employees for protection against influenza would see fewer employees coming down with the flu, hence making the detection for Covid-19 more efficient. Detecting Covid-19 cases is akin to picking a “needle out of a haystack”, but reducing seasonal flu cases can surely reduce the size of the “haystack”.
As such, HealthMetrics is working on developing the necessary awareness for our clients on triaging potential Covid-19 cases & working with healthcare partners to make available intervention strategies such as providing at-home Covid-19 test kits. At-home test kits reduce the employees’ risk of contact or spread of the virus, and to seek physical treatment only when necessary.
Although most Malaysians will now be working from home for the next two weeks, we believe that employers have a continued responsibility to their employees and their companies to put in place certain safeguards to ensure that all parties are protected. On that note, the government’s decision to provide financial assistance of a monthly RM 600 for 6 months to employees forced to take unpaid leave is appreciated.
We look to provide employers with comprehensive insight into medical costs according to location and real-time updates on employees who are ill while connecting employees to accessible medical services across the Klang Valley.
With this movement control, companies are forced to rethink their work processes. Corporate digitalization is also important in maintaining connectivity and ensuring business continuity. While HealthMetrics is a tech-company, we provide the platform that connects over 3000+ healthcare providers nationwide with more than 160,000 of our corporate users, making HealthMetrics an important enabler of essential services during this time of need. HealthMetrics’ strong digital culture enables us to continue operating as usual, while making sure our employees are well-protected.