​How business in Malaysia are tackling workforce needs despite COVID-19 and what is the role of HR services industry to support them?

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How business in Malaysia are tackling workforce needs despite COVID-19 and what is the role of HR services industry to support them?


Many organizations are now at a critical period, as they try to re-balance responsible health and safety and their duty of care as an employer with the economic impact of the lockdown.

How can a business restart responsibly? In collaboration with main industry layers, Adecco and Randstad, we ManpowerGroup, prepared a global report that talks about specific endeavors to make a vital contribution to the process of preparing for the new normal, and expedite getting people safely back to work.

You can download the report here:

​Safely Back To Work In The New Normal

As we want to achieve acceptable levels of safety and security as well as limiting economic impact, we will first need to find the right balance in the order of controls.

There are examples of sectors that are still (partly) operational under specific conditions (e.g., construction, food distribution centers, health care, cargo transport, supermarkets, etc.). We can learn from these sectors to help other businesses adapt to the new normal.

In Malaysia:


Despite of the Movement Control Order (MCO) exemptions are granted to works that are deemed to be 'critical works'. This is defined as works that if not continued, may bring danger to workers, the public or the environment. Examples given include:

(i) hill slope repairs;

(ii) traffic management control;

(iii) upgrading works on facilities at premises providing critical services; and

(iv) emergency works that are covered under the contract of works.

In the Phase 3 MCO, some construction activities will be allowed to carry out with the strict implementation of a specific Site Operating Procedures (SOP) to prevent the pandemic from spreading at work sites.


Food distribution centers:

Food supply, e-commerce activities and logistics and transport services are allowed to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Among those listed are food manufacturers, retail, packaging, distribution, wholesale and distribution centres.

E-commerce platform company, Shopee still continue the services during MCO period. Shopee Mart is operating as usual with a next-day delivery commitment to fulfil its customers' daily necessities during this period.

There are safety precautions where only those with no Covid-19 symptoms would allowed to work, and all must maintain social distancing among workers, as well as adopt good practices such as maintaining a high level of hygiene among staff and the premises.


It’s a war without weapon for healthcare in Malaysia. As for now, no healthcare workers in Malaysia infected from handling COVID-19 patients, says Health D-G Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Ministry of Health Malaysia also collaborate with private hospitals and labs for the home sampling of Covid-19.

For now, the cases of Covid-19 are handled by government hospitals but large-capacity private hospitals that are members of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) are ready to receive Covid-19 patients with the Health Ministry anticipating Covid-19 cases will likely peak in mid-April.

They use the Personal Protective Equipment gear while handling cases and also dispose it correctly to avoid the spreading of Covid-19.


Cargo transport:

Cargo transport still remain important in the amidst of Covid-19. Ports and logistics companies were allowed to operate. As for Maersk operations, to curb with the spread of Covid-19, they revised their operational hours for all their offices in Malaysia.

Their operating hours - 10am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm. They reduced access for visitors to all our offices only to those delivering/picking up documents/cargoes.



While many restaurants, shops and services are closing to slow the spread of Covid-19, supermarkets remain open. With revised operating hours, implementing social distancing measures, and stickers on the floor to guide customers that they need to be one meter apart from each other to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.

There is increasing need of workers to help the operations as supermarkets remain open and they need to make sure that all the distribution of foods and groceries are at the top notch.

AEON Malaysia announced that they are providing personal shopper at their supermarkets where you can drop your order to the Personal Shopper. Then, wait in your car or have a seat while they pick up the items for you.

They will contact you once your order is ready to be collected and lastly, make payment at their appointed cashier counter.

There is no one-size-fit-all solution as every type of ways have to be considered on its challenges. As an HR services, we look for solutions that can help the employer to reduce the impact of the business by providing solution that can be tailored according to the mature of business. Everyone should play their part, together we will be able to face the challenges head-on to minimise any adverse impact for the greater good of the industry and the economy.

In light of this, read our global report Safely Back to Work in the New Normal that talks about specific endeavours to make a vital contribution to the process of preparing for the new normal, and expedite getting people safely back to work.


25 April 2020

Posted by:

Nadhirah Afiqah - Marketing Assistant

Mohammad Kashif - Senior Marketing Executive