Migrant Forum in Asia
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New Conditions to Prevent Employers and Employment Agencies from Profiteering from Employment of Foreign Workers

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be introducing new Work Permit(1) and S Pass conditions to prohibit employers from receiving payment as consideration for employing foreign workers, and recovering employment-related costs from foreign workers.

A new licence condition will also be introduced to prohibit employment agencies from offering payment to employers, in exchange for hiring foreign workers through them. The new conditions will make clear to employers and employment agencies that engaging in such malpractices constitute an offence.

The new conditions seek to better safeguard the well-being of foreign workers in Singapore. They also prevent labour market distortions.

New Work Permit and S Pass Conditions

From 14 July 2008, it is an offence for employers to receive payment (whether monetary or in kind) from a Work Permit holder or employment agent as consideration for employing the Work Permit holder. Employers are also prohibited from recovering employment-related expenses such as the levy and security bond from their Work Permit holders. These new conditions will also apply to employers of S Pass holders.

New Employment Agency Licence Condition

A new Employment Agency (EA) Licence Condition will also be introduced from 14 July 2008 to prohibit employment agencies from offering payment (whether monetary or in kind) to employers, in exchange for hiring foreign workers through them.

Auw Kum Cheong, Divisional Director, Foreign Manpower Management Division, MOM, said, “The new conditions will make it clear to employers and employment agencies that such errant practices constitute an offence. The Ministry will take stern action against those who breach the new conditions.”

Employers who breach the new Work Permit and S Pass conditions will be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. They will also be barred from employing foreign workers in the future. Employment agencies that breach the new EA licence condition will have their licenses revoked and security deposit forfeited.

For More Information

Members of the public with enquiries on the above may call the MOM Contact Centre at (65) 6438 5122 or visit the MOM website.

(1) Work Permit holders here refer to both non-domestic foreign workers and foreign domestic workers.

 

About Us

MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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