Labour Dept to take legal action against companies, including Top Glove, for violating workers’ housing law

Workers walk around at Top Glove Klang workers’ dormitory Taman Daya Meru in Klang. — KK SHAM/The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Labour Department will be taking several companies, including Top Glove to court for violations under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act.

Its director-general Asri Abd Rahman said that 63 charges await the violators after the department opened 21 investigation papers following an operation last week.

However, he did not reveal the number of charges to be faced against Top Glove, saying that the glove maker will be facing "several charges".

"We have submitted the investigation papers to the deputy public prosecutor and the charges will be made soon," he told a media conference on Tuesday (Dec 1).

The Act 446, which took effect from Sept 1 stipulates the need for employers to obtain a certificate of accommodation from the Labour Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM).

Top Glove's workers' hostel in Meru, Klang, has been put under enhanced movement control order following a rise in Covid-19 positive cases.

As of Monday (Nov 30), a total of 5,805 tests had been conducted on workers of the rubber glove manufacturer, with 3,406 testing positive for Covid-19.

Asri said that to date only 665 out of 54,000 companies providing accommodation for its workers have applied for certificate of accommodation from the department.

He said the department has targeted for all the companies involved to apply for the certification by end of 2021.

He said the enforcement of the Act is crucial to prevent elements of forced labour and human trafficking in the country's labour industry due to unconducive living environment among workers

"We also want to ensure that hostels or accommodations for workers are conducive so that these places will not be the cause for the spreading of diseases and infections," he said.

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