Employers to provide accommodation for all workers, says HR Ministry

Dormitory style accommodation - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Employers are tasked to provide accommodation for all their workers in all sectors, says the Human Resources Ministry.

Its Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act will come into force on June 1 in Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

"However, the government will give three months grace period until Aug 31 to give room for employers to make the necessary arrangements.

"The enforcement under the Act will begin on Sept 1," said Saravanan in a statement on Wednesday (May 27).

The amendments, which were passed in Parliament last July and was gazetted in Sept 18 last year.

Prior to this, the Act only covered accommodation and housing for workers in the plantation more than 20 acres and mining sector.

With the amendment, the criteria has been extended to all sectors that provide accommodation and housing to workers.

The amendment was also to enhance the 2018 foreign workers accommodation guidelines prepared by the Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department which comprises minimum standard living space, basic amenities for the housing and workers, as well as safety and hygiene elements which needs to be prioritised by employers.

"Foreign workers are a risk group for Covid-19 infection. This is because they live in crowded and cramped spaces in one housing unit, as well as dirty premises.

"The Ministry also agrees with the views from the Malaysia Medical Association on the need to prepare standard operating procedure (SOP) to enable the implementation of the minimum housing and amenities standards for workers in all sectors in the country," he added.

Saravanan hoped that the enforcement of the amendments to the Act will help curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in line with the recommendations from the International Labour Organisation.

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