Sime Darby Starts Pilot Project to Return Existing Workers

PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Plantation (Sime Darby) has brought back over 100 migrant workers from Bangladesh as part of a pilot scheme to overcome Covid-19 labour shortages.

In a statement to FMT, Sime Darby said that the scheme to return 123 Bangladeshi workers on a chartered flight was conducted in collaboration with the government to put “return-to-work plans in motion in a controlled and safe manner”.

Last June, human resources minister M Saravanan announced a freeze on the hiring of migrant workers in all sectors in a bid to prioritise jobs for Malaysians.
The country relies on some two million documented migrant workers – mainly from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal – in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, plantation and agriculture.

Various business groups and companies have spoken out against the freeze on new migrant workers, stating that the labour shortage was affecting business recovery.
Sime Darby said the Bangladeshis returned home before the Covid-19 pandemic hit but were unable to return to Malaysia when borders closed.

The company added that it had complied with all Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure that its workers could return to work safely.

The workers were screened for Covid-19 three days prior to their flight and are currently undergoing a mandatory seven-day quarantine, having tested negative.

Source: FMT
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