Construction sector in Myanmar worried over work-from-home order

Construction News Myanmar

Construction sector in Myanmar worried over work-from-home order

Construction companies are worried over the impact of a national work-from-home (WFH) order as a result of COVID-19 on their businesses.

“We have made arrangements in accordance with instructions from the authorities but as we can’t provide transport for every worker, construction work will be suspended if some contract the virus on their way to or from work and we are worried about that,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Soe, Central Executive Member of the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association.

The Central Committee for Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 on September 7 issued an announcement that only half of the civil workforce should report physically for work, while the other half should work from their homes or residences. However, they should be prepared to come to the office if necessary.

The 50 percent WFH scheme for employees was adopted in April and May during the first outbreak of COVID-19, but was discarded in June when the number of cases dwindled. The scheme has now been reinstated with cases on the rise.

Although WFH arrangements can be adopted in sectors that do not require their employees to come to the office, it is much harder for the construction sector to reduce the number of workers on-site, U Kyaw Kyaw Soe said.

Others are trying their best to comply with the latest instructions to avoid further consequences. Basins, hand sanitisers and masks have been placed at construction sites and dining areas and arrangements have been made for construction workers to work six feet apart from one another, said U Myo Myint, Managing Director of MKT Construction Company.

“We are following the instructions to prevent our operations from being suspended. The construction sector is providing the most job opportunities for workers now and we are trying our best to keep our business running,” he said.

The construction sector is only starting to recover after most work came to a halt between March and May. During that period, some small private constructors went out of business due to cash flow problems. – Translated