70 percent of businesses in Malaysia plan to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for their staff, a new survey has found.

HR tech firm Employment Hero conducted a survey of more than 1000 Malaysian employers examining the impact of COVID-19 on business owners and employees.

Of all the countries surveyed on the subject, Malaysian employers show the highest level of compulsory vaccination intent, versus employers in Australia (33 percent), the United Kingdom (33 percent), and New Zealand (35 percent).

The survey also found that the majority of employees are also concerned about the pandemic, with 76 percent agreeing to accept the vaccine, and only 7 percent saying they would refuse to take the vaccine.

Despite high levels of acceptance of vaccinations among the Malaysian workforce, the uncertainty of vaccine rollout timelines leaves many hesitant about returning to the office anytime soon, with only 29 percent of Malaysian employees and 31 percent of Malaysian employers expecting to return to the office in the next six months.

So far, governments across the region are not making the vaccine compulsory, but that does not stop individual firms from enacting vaccine mandates. In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said last year that employers can legally require their staff to get vaccinated as long as employers don’t seek information about a worker’s health status. Some companies are also considering ‘no jab, no job’ contracts for employees.

Other companies are taking the opposite approach and instead offering incentives to those that get the shot. For example, Dollar General, Lidl and others including McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s are actually paying their employees with cash or added time off to get vaccinated.


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