‘Housing is not compulsory’ under Bill’


Home away from home: The Bill aims to extend the Act’s coverage to all industry sectors. It currently only applies to the plantation and mining industry.

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed amend­ments to the Workers’ Mini­mum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act will not make it compulsory for employers to provide housing and accommodation, said the Human Resour­ces Ministry.

However, the ministry said should employers choose to provide their workers with such benefits, then the amendments would provide the minimum standards for them to comply.

“On the provision of centralised accommodation, this is among the accommodation options, other than any type of building for the purposes of human habitation available to the employers to accommodate their employees.

“This law does not make it compulsory for the employers to accommodate their workers at any centralised accommodation,” it said in a statement yesterday.

It added that current provisions under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act only applied to those working in the plantation and mining sectors.

However, the Bill aimed to expand the coverage of the current Act to all sectors, said the ministry.

On Thursday, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran had tabled the Bill for first reading, which proposed to include sectors such as construction, manufacturing, including hi-tech industries.

The proposed Bill complied with the international standards for developing countries on workers’ accommodation as well as the International Labour Organisation.

On Thursday, Malaysian Emplo­yers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan had said that during a discussion with the government, employers were made to understand that it was something to be done on a voluntary basis.


   

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