SHAH ALAM, Sept 27 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged private sector employers to consider granting unrecorded leave to employees who have been affected by the haze until the air quality improves.
Its deputy secretary-general A. Balasubramaniam said this was one way of easing the difficulties faced by workers due to the worsening haze situation. “Private sector employers should be lenient enough to grant unrecorded leave for their employees at a time when the haze situation is worsening.
“Employers should also provide free face masks for their employees who are affected by the haze and ensure they do not engage in any outdoor activities,” he told Bernama.
Balasubramaniam said that though most private sector workers were at the mercy of their employers in the granting of unrecorded leave, it was the social responsibility of the employers to care for their employees and provide necessary assistance, including unrecorded leave during atmospheric phenomenon like the haze.
“We hope the employers do not take any drastic action against employees who are unable to attend work during this critical period,” he said.
On another note, Balasubramaniam called on the government to educate the public on the health damaging effects from exposure to illegal open burning as it would lead to serious health problems for workers if left unchecked.
He said the workers union identified open burning at construction sites and industrial areas also as posing adverse effects to workers’ health besides contributing to environmental problems like the haze.