Recruitment and HR solutions firm Randstad has announced that it is offering paid COVID-19 vaccination leave to employees based in Singapore and Malaysia, joining other large corporates that are offering benefits to encourage employees to get vaccinated. The vaccination leave is in addition to existing medical leave benefits.
The firm has also engaged local healthcare professionals to educate employees about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and debunk misinformation. Anti-vaccination movements have historically been poorly received in both countries, but reports of medical complications in other countries nevertheless remain a low-key concern.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director - Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad, said that the objective of offering paid leave is to support employee health and remove barriers to vaccination. “The COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme is a critical step to market recovery,” she pointed out. Through this initiative, we hope to support our employees and remove any barriers they may face when receiving the vaccine.”
Vaccination is voluntary in both Malaysia and Singapore, and both countries have already planned for the progressive vaccination of their populations beginning with high-risk groups. However, individual employers have the discretion to decide whether or not they wish to offer vaccination leave.
This is less of a concern in Singapore, where vaccination plans are largely on track. However, Malaysia still lags behind with low sign-up rates despite having sufficient vaccines available, and while employers are firm that vaccination should remain voluntary, government officials have also reportedly urged companies to do their part in encouraging vaccine sign-ups with paid leave or other benefits.