How to Obtain Approval for Workers' Hostel (Act 446)

Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
by Mohamad Danial bin Ab. Khalil
Feb 21, 2021 at 4:40 PM

The workers' minimum standards of housing and amenities act 1990 (Act 446) is now enforced in Sabah and Sarawak. In Peninsula Malaysia, the act has been enforced since Sept 1, 2020. 

Employers who fail to comply with the act can be fined RM200,000, jailed for up to three years or both. They will also have problems in hiring foreign workers in the future.

You can apply for approval online HERE.

If you want to know how to obtain approval for a workers' hostel, here are the steps, as highlighted by the Department of Labour: 


Types of buildings that can be used as workers' hostel

  1. Terrace House
  2. Shop House
  3. Bungalow
  4. Apartment / flat
  5. Estate house
  6. Office shop
  7. Cabin
  8. SoHo / SoFo



How to determine the number of occupants in accommodation

Click on the image for the larger size.


Basic facility requirements

  1. Bathrooms and toilets (either separately or joint). 1 toilet = 6 employees only

  2. Kitchen

  3. Bedroom

  4. Dining room with chairs and tables

  5. Lounge area

  6. First aid kit

  7. Trash cans

  8. Space for hanging clothes

  9. Lamps

  10. Fans

  11. Fire extinguisher (if any)


Specifications for beds and personal cabinet

One will need to provide these to each employee, and employees cannot share them.

  1. A bed that is sized no less than 1.7-meter square (single bed or double-decker bed)

  2. Mattress in which its thickness no less than 4 inches

  3. Pillow and blanket with covers

  4. Personal cabinet with lock (0.35m Long x 0.35m Wide x 0.9m Height)


Employers and providers' responsibilities regarding safety and health for accommodation

  1. Provide separate accommodation for employees of the opposite sex.

  2. Take the necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of employees.

  3. Take fire safety measures.

  4. Take safety measures in the electrical wiring system.

  5. Ensure employees receive the necessary medical assistance.

  6. Take preventive measures to curb the spread of infectious diseases.

  7. Perform maintenance from time to time.

  8. Appoint 'persons responsible for the accommodation.' 


Necessary documents needed for the application

  1. Company SSM Registration Profile

  2. Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) (non-applicable for cabin & estate house)

  3. Approval letter for renovating building (if applicable) 

  4. Approval letter for occupying temporary building (for cabin)

  5. Approval letter for amending building activity (for shop office / SoHo / SoFO)

  6. Tenancy agreement with LHDN stamp

  7. Certified floor plan

  8. Exterior and interior pictures of the building (Bedroom, living room, kitchen, toilet or restroom)


Submitting to the JTKSM

You will need to prepare two sets of application profiles and submit them to the local JTKSM branch. You will also need the processing fee in the bank draft.

Click on the image for the larger size.

After the application, you will need to wait for JTKSM's inspection. If there is any pending compliance, you will need to follow up. 

Once JTKSM approves your application, you can collect the approval letter from JTKSM's main office in Putrajaya. 


Records needed for JTKSM's inspection

  1. List of names of employees occupying the accommodation

  2. Records of maintenance of accommodation

  3. Records of the health of workers occupying the accommodation

  4. Schedule of visits for inspection of workers' accommodation by employers or centralized accommodation providers

  5. Record book of employee health complaints at the accommodation

The JTKSM will determine the format of the above records. 


If you have any inquiries, you may contact the nearest Labour Office or the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia, Putrajaya or through the JTKSM website. You may also send an email at [email protected]

Helpful links

JKTSM Branches
Online application for centralised accommodation permit 

Source: JTKSM

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