Guidance for Standard Operating Procedure on Health and Safety Measures Against Covid-19 Pandemic for Capital Market Participants
1st Issued: 8 May 2020
Part I
  • 1.0 Definitions

    Agent

    to include but not limited to commissioned dealer’s representative, unit trust consultant, private retirement scheme consultant and marketing representative of CMP
    AOB Audit Oversight Board, established under section 31C of Securities Commission Malaysia Act 1993
    CMP capital market participant that covers entities and individuals that participate in the Malaysian capital market including the approved  exchanges, licensed entities (CMSL holders), registered persons, AOB registered auditors, self-regulatory organisations, recognised  market operators and other capital market related entities

    CMSA

    the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007

    CMSL

    Capital Markets Services Licence referred to in the CMSA

    COVID-19

    an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

    Customer

    client/investor and potential client/investor

    Employee

    permanent employee, contract employee, temporary employee, appointed personnel and director of CMP

    External Party

    customer, vendor, third party service provider and/or visitor

    MKN

    Majlis Keselamatan Negara

    MOF Ministry of Finance Malaysia

    MOH

    Ministry of Health Malaysia

    PUI

    Patient Under Investigation, as defined by MOH

    SC

    Securities Commission Malaysia

    SOP

    Standard Operating Procedure

  • 2.0 Introduction

    2.01

    This guidance outlines the health and safety measures and steps to be taken by a CMP in planning and managing the return of its operations to full capacity.
    2.02 In addition to the SOPs issued by the MKN and various ministries, this guidance aims to cover the minimum requirements and additional measures to guide a CMP in developing and communicating clear internal SOPs on health and safety measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 at its workplace(s), with regards to its dealing with its Employees, Agents, workplace(s) and External Parties. In the event of any inconsistencies between this guidance and the SOP(s) or directive(s) from applicable authorities, the SOP(s) and directive(s) from the applicable authorities shall prevail.

    2.03

    This guidance is not intended to be comprehensive and a CMP should tailor its SOP to its respective business operations, taking into consideration the specificities of its internal processes and other relevant factors, to create a safe environment for Employees, Agents and External Parties. At the minimum, a CMP must adhere to and update its processes according to the latest SOP and directives issued by MKN, MOH as well as directives issued by any other relevant authorities. A CMP should continue to monitor the developments and guidance issued by World Health Organisation, MKN, MOH and other authorities, and where appropriate, to reflect these in its SOP. This guidance may be revised from time to time by the SC.
    2.04 In adhering to the SOPs issued by relevant authorities, a CMP should establish appropriate governance and monitoring processes, taking into consideration the complexity and size of the business operations, the number of branches and its Customers, governance structure and workplace setting. To ensure proper accountability, a CMP should designate dedicated person(s) to collate, monitor and report compliance with the SOPs across its organisation, including for each branch location.
Part II
  • 3.0 Workplace - General Requirements

    3.01

    Social distancing or physical distancing is a key practice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and pandemic as recommended by MOH. Therefore, a CMP must put in place appropriate measures to avoid close contact at workplace to limit the risk of exposure.
    3.02 Recommendations for maintaining a safe work environment to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection should include these measures:
      (a) Policies and procedures – A CMP must have in place adequate policies and procedures to address the health and safety measures against COVID-19 pandemic, including to swiftly and effectively address situations where an Employee, Agent or External Party who has visited its premises or been in close contact with an Employee or Agent of the CMP, is later tested positive for COVID-19 or is classified as PUI. This must also include collecting necessary information to facilitate contact tracing and maintaining comprehensive record keeping as stipulated in paragraph 4.07. A CMP should also seek disclosure from Employees and Agents if they are tested positive for COVID-19, classified as PUI or under movement restrictions, as well as consider obtaining travel declaration.
      (b)

    Health screening

        i. A CMP should enforce temperature screening at the entry points to its workplace(s) for Employees, Agents and External Parties;
        ii. A CMP should enforce the use of face mask by Employees, Agents and External Parties at all times when they are in the premises;
        iii. In the event that an Employee, Agent or External Party appears or is unwell and demonstrates common COVID-19 symptoms and is present in the premises, a CMP should immediately activate the necessary protocols to minimise the transmission of infection, which include refusing entry into its premises;
        iv.

    For an Employee or Agent who is unwell and exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, the following measures have to be taken:

    • Immediately isolate the Employee or Agent from the other people in the premises;
    • Require the affected person to wear a surgical mask and seek medical attention at the nearest health facility or recommended hospitals by MOH. Accompanying person should also wear a surgical mask;
    • Relieve the Employee or Agent from work, as well as the other Employees and Agents working in the same work area; and
    • Sanitise the work area or section affected immediately before allowing Employees and Agents to return.
        v. Employee or Agent returning to work after being isolated/treated for COVID-19 must follow MOH's protocol and guidelines if applicable, and can only return to work if he/she is fit to do so, based on the CMP's SOP.
      (c) Hygiene at workplace
        i. A CMP should encourage Employees, Agents and External Parties to adopt good hygiene practices, take all the necessary precautionary measures, clearly articulate such practices and measures, and ensure that they are understood; and
        ii. A CMP should consider ways to support respiratory etiquette and self-hygiene for Employees and Agents. Such measures could include: providing the necessary protective equipment such as face mask and gloves (where appropriate), adequate supplies of hand-sanitisers and soap in easily accessible locations; posting signs to encourage frequent handwashing; discouraging handshakes and other contact methods which may increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
      (d) Increased cleaning of premises – Steps must be taken to implement frequent cleaning, sanitisation and disinfection of all areas within the workplace, particularly, frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, door handles, toilets, pantries, elevator panels and commonly shared equipment such as photocopy machines and printers.
      (e) Shared workspaces and common areas
        i. Ensure the arrangement of workstations allows adequate social distancing between Employees. Employees seating arrangements should be at least 1- meter apart;
        ii. Discourage the sharing of phones, desks, and crowding of common areas such as pantry, prayer rooms and staff areas;
        iii. Limit the number of people attending meetings and avoid all large gatherings such as conferences, townhalls, social events, annual functions and religious activities;
        iv. Limit the number of people in cafeterias or other common spaces at any given point in time, provide clear floor markers to guide the people and space out the table arrangements to enable social distancing; and
        v. In the event that social distancing is unavoidable, to ensure that the interaction is managed expeditiously.
      (f) Entry and exit of office premises
        i. Assign a doorkeeper or use automated doors where possible;
        ii. Place hand sanitisers near entry and exit points to allow Employees, Agents and External Parties to self-sanitise;
        iii. Where possible, have separate entry and exit points, and mark out separate lanes for entrance and exit to facilitate "crowd control";
        iv. Post notice(s) at prominent and visible places to notify Employees, Agents and External Parties who are unwell, or who have been exposed to COVID-19 patients, or have just returned to or arrived in Malaysia to refrain from entering its premises; and
        v. Disinfect all entry and exit doors, at least every 8 hours.
      (g) Additional health and safety measures (non-exhaustive)
        i.

    Ensure proper ventilation and regular cleaning of air-conditioning system;

        ii.

    Manage, limit or stop the use of communal or confined spaces such as pantries and areas with poor ventilation;

        iii.

    Reduce the number of persons at reception or security desks;

        iv. Implement "one way" hallways or paths through the workplace where possible to achieve social distancing;
        v. Limit the number of people in the elevators for self-owned/controlled premises. Where premises are rented, a CMP should encourage building management to adopt precautionary measures in elevators at any given time; and
        vi. Ensure that social distancing of at least 1-meter between people is practiced at premises at all times. This can be achieved by placing temporary barriers or by drawing markings on the floor or seats where applicable.
  • 4.0 Business Operations

    4.01

    A CMP should determine its business operating hours based on its location and business needs, subject to the directives from the government and other relevant authorities where applicable, particularly if the physical premises or branches are within high risk zones as defined by relevant authorities.
    4.02 For functions that can be performed remotely in a safe, secure and efficient manner, a CMP should consider steps to enable staff to work from home most of the time.
    4.03 A CMP may consider options to progressively phase Employees back to the workplace as Movement Control Order restrictions are loosened. In relation to this, a CMP should consider implementing staggered/rotational work schedules to manage the number of Employees at the workplace at any given time to observe social distancing at premises.
    4.04 A CMP should assess its Employees' ability to return to work based on their location (locality that is subject to higher restrictions such as high risk zones) and personal situation (e.g. pregnant Employees, parents of young children without adequate care, vulnerable1 Employees, and close contact with front-liners/those at risk) which may impact their availability to work in the office.
    4.05 A CMP should provide the necessary tools, gadgets and equipment to the Employees to enable them to work effectively from home. Also, a CMP should ensure that its Employees and Agents apply the highest standard to maintain the confidentiality and security of sensitive work-related information whilst working from home.
    4.06 Internal Communication and Support Channels:
      (a) A CMP should ensure clear communication on return to work protocols and provide support channels through which Employees and Agents can seek clarification, voice concerns or ask for exemptions to certain procedures, where possible. For example, a designated person or persons should be assigned to manage all issues related to COVID-19 at the workplace. This information should be made known to all Employees and Agents to ease communication; and
      (b) Ongoing communications should also be in place to remind Employees and Agents of the importance of maintaining social distancing and hygiene such as wearing mask and to "self-sanitise".
    4.07 Record keeping for contact tracing - adequate information must be maintained by a CMP to keep track of Employees, Agents and External Parties for contact tracing purposes for at least three months. Information gathered should, at the minimum, include name, contact number, date, time of visit, location and who they are meeting. A CMP should also encourage Employees and Agents to maintain their own record for contact tracing purposes, where necessary. In addition, a CMP should be ready to check branch video surveillance data (i.e. CCTV recordings) to support contact tracing efforts, where needed (e.g. to identify interactions among individuals, to mitigate risks of incomplete or false information).
    4.08 A CMP should defer all non-critical events/activities which typically involve physical presence of groups of people. Where possible, a CMP should adopt digital solutions for meetings or discussions to discourage physical contact e.g. video conferencing and conference calls.
    4.09 A CMP is encouraged to establish guidance to Employees to promote new workplace behaviours:
      (a) Meetings – To limit the number of in-person gatherings in the workplace and to utilise facilities available for virtual meetings and tele-conferencing. If physical meetings are held, there should be a cap on the number of people permitted at the meeting venue at any one time taking into account the need for social distancing; and
      (b) Business Travel - To review travel policies and establish guidance to determine the necessity of travel and the risk during the travel and at the destination, including having the latest advisory on traveling from relevant authorities.
    4.10 A CMP is required to establish Emergency Response Protocols (including reporting requirements to the relevant authorities), which outline the steps that must be taken in the event of any COVID-19 infection cases or any investigation on the Employee or Agent with COVID-19 infection.
    4.11 A CMP is required to report to the SC on the status of health measures and controls of its business operations as and when requested. A CMP is also required to comply with the reporting requirements of MOH and relevant authorities in relation to COVID-19.

    1 Refer to MOH Annex 25 on Vulnerable Employees: Older persons and those with pre-existing medical conditions e.g. high blood pressure, heart disease, lung diseases, cancer or diabetes
  • 5.0 Dealing with External Parties

    5.01

    A CMP should identify 'risk points' that could act as conduits for the COVID-19 transmission and ensure measures are in place to eliminate or limit Employees, Agents and External Parties from coming in contact with these risk points in the conduct of their business activities.
    5.02 A CMP is encouraged to limit face to face meeting with External Parties, where possible. As stipulated in paragraph 4.08, a CMP should adopt digital solutions to discourage physical contact. A CMP is to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of all communication conducted via digital solutions.
    5.03 All sales and marketing activities outside the CMP's premises and public spaces are not permitted until further notice2.
    5.04 A CMP should consider whether it will require or allow Employees and Agents to attend work-related events hosted by an External Party. If allowed, the number of Employees and Agents attending the event should be limited.
    5.05 In addition to measures stipulated in Paragraph 3.0 on the general requirements for workplace, the following are recommended measures for dealing with External Parties at the office premises, customer service centres or branches:
      (a) Establish clear protocols to limit the number of External Parties at the office premises and manage traffic at Customer facing locations;
      (b) If a meeting is necessary, encourage the External Party to make prior appointment for the meeting at the premises;
      (c) Post clear communication on the health screening and hygiene protocols;
      (d) Restrict External Parties' access to specific areas within the premises to minimise the risk and spread of infection;
      (e) A CMP should ensure the required workspace as well as safety and health protocols are observed when dealing with external auditors and other third party service providers which are required to undertake work at the CMP's premises; and
      (f) Customer-facing Employees or Agents should take the following measures, where relevant:
        i. Wear protective gears including face mask and glove (where appropriate);
        ii. Inform Customer to take similar precautionary measures e.g. wearing face mask and maintaining self-hygiene, prior to carrying out the engagement;
        iii. Request Customer to provide health declaration and check if Customer is displaying COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to any COVID-19 patient or PUI in the last 14 days. If yes, to cancel or postpone the meeting;
        iv. Refrain from meeting with Customers if Employees and/or Agents are feeling unwell and displaying common COVID-19 symptoms;
        v. Adopt record keeping for contact tracing;
        vi. Maintain a 1-metre distance from others at all times;
        vii. To ensure that the interaction is managed expeditiously;
        viii. Customer should use their own stationeries for filling up forms or Employees and Agents should be required to disinfect stationeries used by Customers after each use;
        ix. Maintain self-hygiene, avoid touching facial area, use sanitiser and wash hands with soap;
        x. The Employees and Agents should provide verbal instructions instead of touching the customer's hand/thumb in obtaining accurate thumb print;
        xi. Place hand sanitiser at counter top for customers to sanitise hand after the transaction, particularly after each use of the biometric reader device;
        xii. Disinfect or sanitise the counter surface after each transaction; and
        xiii. If handling incoming documents from External Party, sanitise hands after each transaction, or wear single-use gloves.
    5.06

    For on-site field work, a CMP should establish that the location of the on-site field work is not classified as high risk zone and that there are proper health and safety measures in place against COVID-19 in considering whether to allow its Employee or Agent to visit the location. A CMP should ensure that safe workspaces and protective gears (mask, gloves, sanitizers) are provided for the Employee or Agent throughout the duration of the field work.

    During the field work, Employees or Agents of a CMP must observe the following measures:

      (a) Wear protective gears including face mask and glove (where appropriate);
      (b) Maintain self-hygiene including avoid touching facial area, use sanitizer or wash hands with soap;
      (c) Maintain 1-metre distance from others at all times;
      (d) If possible, limit face-to-face engagements to less than 15 minutes;
      (e) Adopt record keeping for contact tracing;
      (f) Use their own stationeries which are provided by their CMP for office activities;
      (g) Avoid crowded places and close contact with people showing symptoms; and
      (h) Refrain from going for on-site fieldwork if feeling unwell and displaying common COVID-19 symptoms. Seek prompt medical treatment if developing symptoms.

    2 Refer to List of Prohibited Activities announced together with the SOP under Conditional Movement Control Order.
  • 6.0 Contact Information
    6.0 Queries relating to this guidance can be emailed to [email protected].
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