BUKIT MERTAJAM | A total of 23 employers have been charged in court for failing to comply with the government’s ruling on the provision of workers’ accommodation in accordance with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).

Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim said since Act 446 came into force on Sept 1 last year, about 100 operations had been carried out nationwide to check on workers’ living condition.

“So far our checks found that 80% employers had complied and the level of compliance had been satisfactory,” he told reporters after an operation at a shoe manufacturing company in the Bukit Tengah industrial area here today.

In the operation conducted in collaboration with the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Social Security Organisation (Socso), State Health Department (JKN) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) involving 30 personnel, inspections were made on houses used as workers’ accommodation.

Elaborating, Awang said, most employers who had been charged in court failed in standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance as too many workers were living in one room.

“There should only be two persons in a room, but our checks showed there were more than six people in a room. The six-to-a-bathroom rule was also not adhered to, so all these were in violation of the SOPs set,” he said.

Awang said the ministry would continue with strict enforcement action to ensure employers abide by the act and procedures set by the National Security Council, adding that if employers abide by the rules, risk of Covid-19 transmission could be reduced.

Previously, the Act 446 jurisdiction only covered the housing and accommodation aspects of more than 20 acres involving plantation and mining sectors. Through the amendment, it is now being extended to all employment sectors that provide housing and accommodation for workers.

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