Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on 8 March 2022 that Malaysia would enter the endemic phase of COVID-19 from April 1.
“Endemic” status does not mean zero risk, but this will definitely see the easing of restrictions in the country. Businesses will finally be allowed to operate without time restrictions, and the country’s borders will also finally be reopened. Limits on the number of employees allowed in the workplace based on vaccination rates in a company will also no longer be applicable. In the coming months, we will see employment agencies in Malaysia get busier as many industries; tourism and hospitality especially, are getting a revival.
However, nearly two years in the pandemic, there are several things that require considerations to ensure that we enter this new stage gradually, thoughtfully and flexibly.
Depending on the sector you are in and the way your organisation functions, these are a few key considerations to look at as we enter the endemic phase:
The increased turnover that many employers are dealing with are not the only concern when it comes to talent. With many starting a new job during the full lockdown and may not have had the chance to see their team members, companies should look into rebuilding company culture and building connections between employees through training and development in and robust Human Resources Management (HRM).
For companies with remote employees, it is also important to look into the hiring practices and operations. Will some employees be permitted to work remotely and under modified or flexible schedules while others are not? Will the employees who need to come to the office receive special or extra benefits? This, again is where human resources management should come into the picture.