MEF: Employers need more time to comply with Workers’ Housing Act

Foreign workers are pictured at their shared houses in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Foreign workers are pictured at their shared houses in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has requested more time to comply with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1900 (Act 446) which was fully enforced by the Ministry of Human Resources today.

MEF president Datuk Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the government should take into account the current situation and to not penalise employers for failing to comply with the Act.

“In complying with the Act, the employers are required to abide by such things as space requirement and minimum thickness of the mattress. For example, 1,500 square feet of space could only accommodate a maximum of six foreign workers and we know that many Malaysians are living in spaces much smaller than this.

“Employers who fail to comply with the Act would be fined RM50,000 per foreign worker. At the same time, many employers are relying on the wage subsidy programme and other government support to survive the pandemic,” he said in a statement today.

Explaining further, he said since the start of Covid-19 up to September this year, more than 30,000 businesses had shut down, with a majority failing to revive operations after a gradual reopening of the economy since June this year, adding that as of November 24, about 100,000 employees received retrenchment benefits under the Employment Insurance System (EIS).

“The major issue facing employers at the moment is that of survivability and we hope the government would consider MEF pleas for compassion to the employers during these extremely difficult times”, he said. — Bernama

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