Top Glove subsidiaries among those probed over worker accommodation

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PUTRAJAYA: Only 30% of the 24,000 companies providing accommodation to factory workers have complied with housing standards set by the human resources ministry, according to a check by the Labour Department.

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The offenders include several subsidiaries of glove maker Top Glove Corp Bhd, which are now being investigated for violations under a newly enforced housing standards law for workers.

Further, of the 54,000 companies that have registered with the department, only 665 have requested for certificate of fitness for occupation (CF) or certificate of completion and compliance (CCC) to provide housing for workers, the department’s director, Asri Ab Rahman, told a press conference.

He said the investigations involved six subsidiaries in five states – Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Kelantan and Selangor.

Asri said 19 investigation papers have been opened under Act 446 (Amendment) 2019 which covers the minimum standard accommodation space, basic facilities for workers’ accommodation and security and hygiene.

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The investigations come after the dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases involving factory workers in dormitories

“A total of 63 charges have been made against several companies, including Top Glove,” he said.

He said the main offence was a failure to apply for a certificate of accommodation from the department. Other offences included cramped conditions in the living quarters.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said that the human resources ministry would start enforcing amendments to the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) starting Nov 26.

The amendments came into force on June 1, mandating a minimum space requirement for workers’ accommodation, basic facilities as well as safety and hygiene standards.

“This Act aims to give workers more comfortable housing, and there are harsh fines for companies which do not comply,” Ismail said at a press conference. – FMT

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