Test your foreign staff for Covid-19 by Jan 1 or face action, Putrajaya warns employers

File picture shows health workers conducting a Covid-19 screening test on local and foreign workers at Central Spectrum, Pulau Indah, December 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
File picture shows health workers conducting a Covid-19 screening test on local and foreign workers at Central Spectrum, Pulau Indah, December 10, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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PUTRAJAYA, Dec 24 — The government has now ordered that all foreign workers in Malaysia must undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening at the start of 2021.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said any employers who fail to comply with this directive will face legal and financial penalties under Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

“The decision was made by the National Security Council after the Human Resources Ministry informed us that there are some employers who still refuse to cooperate in getting their staff tested for Covid-19,” he said in his press conference.

Under the order which began on December 1, foreign workers in all sectors including construction, manufacturing, and commerce need to undergo testing, with the costs borne by the employing company.

At present, the Human Resources Ministry has recorded 49,248 foreign workers under 1,990 employers have undergone the tests.

Similarly Ismail said the government is ramping up efforts to inspect the accommodations of foreign workers, under the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990.

“At the present action has been taken against 12 companies and 27 charges laid for employers who disobeyed the law.

“It has also been decided that employers are required to bear the costs of quarantine and treatment for any of their foreign workers who test positive and are moved to a hospital or Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre,” he said.

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