Ministry of Economic Development on Tuesday publicised amended regulations on employer-provided accommodations for migrant workers in the country.
The new guidelines will be in effect from October 13 onwards.
Under expatriate employment regulations, employers must register employee accommodations that are aptly built via modern technology, with proper cross-ventilation and shelter from the elements.
For a housing unit, the government stipulates that an area of 3.78 square metres must be allocated for a single bed based room, while an area of 5.13 square metres must be available for a single bunk bed accommodation.
Moreover, for a room with two single beds, a minimum area of 6.84 square metres are required, while an 8.55 square metre area is required for double bunk bed units. For each additional bed, an area of 3.24 square metres must be added to the floor plan. Furniture to store personal belongings must also be provided by the employer.
Regulations also dictate that a toilet must exist for every 10 employees.
Expatriates must also have appropriate amenities for hygiene purposes, including clean water and sewerage services. Further, expatriates must also have access to laundry facilities.
Employers must provide a specialized doctor for accommodations that house over 100 workers.
Housing units must clearly indicate the employers’ contact details at the entrance, including the unit supervisor details and the number of expatriates housed under the building.
The expatriate working population in the Maldives, comprising mostly of Bangladeshi nationals, exceeds 100,000. Many foreign labourers residing in capital Male’ live in congested spaces, and thus are highly vulnerable to the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 in case of an outbreak. The government this week began a decongesting programme to relocate those living in congested spaces to accommodation blocks in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’ and Gulhifalhu.
Male’ City Council in collaboration with Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Maldives Immigration, transferred 200 migrant workers into living facilities in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’ on Sunday.
The Maldives recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 from the capital city, Male’, on Wednesday morning.
The Maldives now has 21 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over two million people and claimed over 126,753 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 484,573 people have recovered.
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