Many employers still not providing proper accommodation for workers, says Labour Dept

JOHOR BARU: Many employers still refuse to provide accommodation for their workers that meet requirements as mandated by law, says the Labour Department.

Its deputy director-general (operational) Mohd Asri Abdul Wahab said a multi-department raid on a plastics manufacturer's premises in Taman Tan Sri Yaakob here showed a lack of proper facilities and unsatisfactory living conditions for its foreign workers.

"The company has 325 foreign workers and only 16 hostels were provided to house them for the past two years.

"We found that these hotels or rooms were located above different storage areas.

"There were ill-equipped and did not have lockers with locks, while some did not have beds nor proper toilets.

"Workers were also cooking food inside the rooms, with refrigerators placed next to their sleeping area," he said in a press conference following the raid on Monday (Sept 25), which also involved the Occupational Safety and Health Department and Social Security Organisation.

Mohd Asri added that authorities would initiate an investigation under the Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) and take the employer's and workers' statements before issuing compound notices to the company.

He said the company could be fined a maximum of RM50,000 for each offence.

"We urge all employers to comply with Act 446 that came into effect in September 2020.

"It has been three years now and many raids have been carried out. By right, all employers should already be compliant with the law," he said.

Act 446 aims to ensure that employers meet minimum standards for worker accommodation.

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