30 March 2021
On 26 February 2021, Malaysia’s Emergency (Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (“Ordinance”) came into effect. The Ordinance amends the Employees’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities Act 1990 (“Act”) which, among other things, prescribes the minimum standards of housing and nurseries for employees and their dependants, and requires employers to provide health, hospital, medical and social amenities.
Salient amendments made to the Act under the Ordinance are as follows:
- Section 1(2) now provides that the Act is applicable throughout Malaysia;
- The definition of “accommodation” under section 24B of the Act now includes centralised accommodation;
- A new section 24BA is inserted which enables the Minister of Human Resources to prescribe any class, category or description of employees required to be provided with accommodation;
- A new section 24FA is inserted which empowers the Director General of Labour to direct replacement, alteration and repair of accommodation and amenities;
- A new section 24FB is inserted which empowers the Director General of Labour to direct employers or centralised accommodation providers to provide temporary accommodation;
- Under sections 24FA(4) and 24FB(6), a person who contravenes sections 24FA or 24FB will be liable on conviction and may face a fine not exceeding RM200,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years;
- A new section 27(1)(aa) is inserted which enables the Director General of Labour, Medical Officer of Health or District Engineer to enter and inspect any place of employment or any building which, he believes, is used by an employer or centralised accommodation provider for the accommodation of his employees; and
- Section 33 of the Act, which is a general penalty provision, is amended in which a centralised accommodation provider is now also liable for the contravention of the Act or any regulations made under it.