KUALA LUMPUR: A Bill was tabled in Parliament Thursday (July 11) to make it compulsory for employers to provide centralised accommodation for employees in all industrial sectors such as plantation, construction and manufacturing, including high-tech industries.
The Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) 2019 Bill was tabled by Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran in Parliament Thursday, which will also see increased fines against errant employers.
Previously, compulsory accommodation only covered estate workers.
The move to table the amendments is in compliance with international standards for developing countries with regard to workers' accommodation in line with the International Labour Organisation.
The changes in the law are aimed at ensuring sustainable economic growth for the country and attracting foreign investment, particularly in high-tech industries.
Among the key amendments include increasing penalties from the current maximum fines of RM1,000 and RM2,000 to a maximum fine of RM50,000.
The amendments also increase the RM100 fine imposed a day during which the offence continues to RM1,000 fine per day.
At the same time, the Bill seeks to compel an employer to provide a nursery for its workers if employees collectively have at least five dependants under the age of four living with them.
Previously, employers were required to provide a nursery for its employees with at least ten dependants under four years old.
Under the amendments, employers must provide accommodation that is in compliance with the minimum standard under the Act or regulations imposed.
The amendments also includes a new Section 24L, where employers or a centralised accommodation provider must appoint a person to be in charge of the safety and well-being of the employees.
Under Section 24G, employers are allowed to collect rent from the employee by way of salary deductions.
Under the amendments, employers are not bound to provide accommodation for employees' dependants.
The amendments covers Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan.
According to the Bill, the Sabah and Sarawak state governments have agreed that corresponding laws will be provided in their respective Labour Ordinance.
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