Employers in Malaysia will be given three months to comply with amendments made to the Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990, which takes force on Monday (1 June).
The government will allow for a grace period of up to 31 August so employers have time to make the necessary preparations, Human Resources Minister M Saravanan said in a report by NST.
According to the Minister, the amendments to the Act, which were passed in parliament last July, has been "extended to cover housing and accommodation for workers in all sectors, across Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan."
He added: "Act 446, (amendment) 2019 also hopes to enhance the 2018 guidelines of accommodation for foreign workers that were prepared by the Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department.
"This covers a minimum standard for space requirement for the workers' accommodations, basic facilities for the housing and workers, and safety and hygiene elements that employers need to put emphasis on."
Minister Saravanan also said this move was made as foreign workers were among those with a high risk in the spread of COVID-19, given they are "cramped and crowded into single housing units that have poor hygiene."
Additionally, he shared that the Human Resources Ministry agrees with the Malaysian Medical Association on the need for an SOP that will allow for these minimum standards to be implemented.
"We hope that the enforcement of the amendment, including the news rules to regulate the standard of housing and workers' facilities would prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is in line with the International Labour Organisation's Recommendation 115 (Workers Housing Recommendation, 1961)."
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