ACT 446 relaxation gives employers ample time to provide conducive accommodation

KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): Relaxation on Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) will give employers ample time to provide safe and conducive accommodation for employees, both local and foreign, according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Yesterday, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pictured) said the government agreed to relax the enforcement of rules governing workers’ housing standards until December 2021.

Welcoming the relaxation, MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the move would also provide more time for employers employing local and foreign workers to ensure they were vaccinated, and avoid being imposed with heavy penalty under Act 446.

“MEF pleaded with the government to provide more time to comply and MEF thank the minister and Human Resources Ministry for understanding the predicament of employers, especially during these difficult times,” he said in a statement today.

While employers heaved a huge sigh of relief, Syed Hussain said the decision was timely and provided employers with the much-needed breathing space as most were still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When Act 446 came into force last September, most employers were struggling to resuscitate their businesses and found it difficult to incur additional costs required for compliance, and it is estimated that about 70 per cent of employers had failed to comply with Act 446 thus far,” he added.

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