Employers are not allowed to cut the pay of employees or force them to take annual leave, or even dismiss them without adhering to the employment contract during the movement control order (MCO). The Human Resources Ministry said that all salaries and allowances must be paid except for transport allowances that will not be used during the period.

For companies such as airlines affected by the drop in businesses, any cuts in salaries and benefits should first be discussed and agreed upon by employees, said the Human Resources Ministry in a statement on frequently asked questions issued by the National Security Council.

“All salaries and allowances must be paid accordingly. Employees can claim constructive dismissal by employers who deduct their salaries, lay off workers or force employees to take annual leave with the reason that business is affected during the MCO,” the ministry on Monday.

It said that employees must prove breach of contract, give time for employers to correct it, and leave the job immediately if constructive dismissal is deemed to have happened. Constructive dismissal happens when you are forced to leave your job because your employer breaches the contract of employment. “Labour unions can take up the issue of deduction of salaries or forced annual leave as an industrial matter under the Industrial Relations Act 1967, if it involves a union member,” said the ministry.

The FAQ statement also said all employers of essential and non-essential services which are allowed to operate during the MCO must ensure that all health precautions must be taken for employees such as body temperature monitoring, providing of sanitisers and social distancing.
The ministry also stated that all quarantine orders issued by health authorities must be adhered to by employers.


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