Bridging the academic-NGO divide: Making research relevant to migrant workers and their front line supporters.

This is a speech given by Nicholas Harrigan, a member of TWC2’s research subcommittee, at the ‘Health of Migrants and Refugees Workshop’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 10 November 2017. This workshop was hosted by United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health. Attendees and speakers came from across South East Asia and included academics, civil society...

Escaping from ruthless employer, Amzad gets help at every turn

By Chow Shunqi, based on an interview in September 2017 (27 Sept) He stayed as quiet as he could so others would think he was asleep. When it was 3am, he tiptoed out of the room, walked as far as he could with an injured ankle and found a hiding spot among the bushes. There was...

Injury lawyers ever eager to take their cut

By Debbie Fordyce By the time injured workers with work injury compensation claims appear before TWC2, most have already engaged a law firm. Legal advice and assistance is unnecessary since the Work Injury Compensation process is a no fault process. So, why do so may engage lawyers, and why do so many stick with their...

Basic salary stated in IPA is “prima facie” the applicable basic salary, rules the High Court

In a landmark judgment released 1 November 2017, the High Court has ruled that the basic salary stated in the In-Principle Approval for a Work Permit (IPA) “would constitute prima facie evidence” of the correct basic salary rate, unless the employer can prove otherwise. The bar for proving otherwise was also set very high. This...

Hosen Khalilur has had to fork out $3,500 in rent

Video by Jonathan Ang, August 2017 Hosen Khalilur’s experience is typical of the cases that come to Transient Workers Count Too. After sustaining a back injury at work and being placed on medical leave, company officials make it difficult for him to stay on in company accommodation. In Hosen’s case, he tells us in the...

What are the rules for housing injured workers?

The law as to who is responsible for workers’ accommodation is a dustball of words. The exact meaning is fuzzy and can be squeezed every which way. In practice however, the words are largely rendered moot. Employers have their own requirements for where to place their workers. Construction employers will want all their workers to stay...

When being unreasonable pays off

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in October 2017 After Rana Masum approached a lawyer to lodge an injury compensation claim, he found his Work Permit cancelled by his employer. Not long after, his boss wanted him to move out of his current dormitory, Westlite Dormitory at Toh Guan in Jurong East and...

Injured Azizul given only $1,000 to live on for 15 months

By Philomène Franssen, based on an interview in September 2017 One thousand dollars is what Azizul received from his employer seven months after the June 2016 accident that took place at his work site. It was supposed to be his medical leave wages, but since he was on medical leave (“MC”) for those seven months, it...

Sumon has been five years in Singapore, never held his son before

By Nicholas Lee, based on an interview in September 2017 “Men die, company no thinking, only thinking money”. With words like that reflecting the treatment that Miah Md Sumon and his fellow compatriots receive, it is hard to imagine the lives they lead working in a far-away country away from their loved ones. I sit...

Caring for the caregiver: foreign domestic workers’ access to medical care

In a survey of 468 foreign domestic workers (“FDW”), TWC2 found that generally, their access to medical care for minor ailments did not seem to be impeded. Over 80% of FDWs were taken  by their employers to a doctor when they felt ill and requested for medical attention. Over 80% said they were “not scared”...