Re attempts at salary reduction, MOM ties itself in knots

Based on details collected from casework in May and June 2018 When Rahman Safiar went to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to get his Work Permit processed, he was in for a shock. It was not even two weeks after arriving in Singapore for a new job with a promised basic salary of $1,600 per...

Unreported work injuries: more than a matter of statistics

By Liang Lei, based on interviews in June 2018 It is common knowledge that timely diagnosis and treatment of injuries go a long way in minimizing pain and speeding up recovery. In Singapore, the Work Injury Compensation Act  (WICA) seeks to enable that, by allowing employees injured at work to file claims for, amongst other...

Policy brief 2018, no. 2: Require mandatory reporting of injuries to MOM by healthcare providers

In the second of four policy briefs for 2018, Transient Workers Count Too recommends that healthcare providers should have a duty to report to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) when a migrant worker is issued more than three days medical leave or is hospitalised for 24 hours or longer. This should be in addition to...

89% of salary disputes arise from cash-payment employers, confirms MOM

In a parliamentary reply to a question by MP Melvin Yong, Manpower minister Josephine Teo said in July 2018 that only 11% of work permit holders lodging salary claims were paid electronically. (Scroll down for full reply). This factoid supports TWC2’s urging that electronic payment of salaries should be made mandatory. In our Policy Brief...

False hope, hesitant trust and bureaucratic complexities

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in May 2018 Received unexpectedly dismal scores for an assessment? Appeal. Although this “survival tactic” for examinations seems to transcend cultures, the consequences can vary drastically from one situation to another. In the case of a foreign worker’s Permanent Incapacity Compensation score, a hasty decision to appeal may...

Surgery not covered by insurance, says boss. Go back to India instead

By Nicholas Lee based on an interview in May 2018 The crowd at TWC2’s food programme grows as the hour for the breaking of the Ramadan fast approaches. Among the non-Muslims is Paranthaman Arulvendan, registering himself with TWC2 for the first time. But he’s not new to Singapore. Arul has been working here since the...

Bangladeshi workers’ perception of Singapore, choice of Singapore as work destination and journey here

Intern Roy Lim was with TWC2 from late April to early June 2018. Among his tasks were to complete a research project, a smallish one in view of the limited time and that fact that it had to be done single-handedly. The attached paper is his report. In his paper, he found that Bangladeshi workers...

More frauds committed using ministry letterhead

In October 2017, we carried a story Fraud committed using ministry letterhead [link] about how a worker was misled about the salary he would be getting before he signed on for a job in Singapore. While, as we explained in that article, we did not know who exactly was the culprit, the fact that a scam...

One million free meals served — a bittersweet moment for TWC2

Media release, 12 July 2018: 1,000,000 – that is the number of free meals served by local charity Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) since the inception of its free meals programme in 2008. Affectionately known as The Cuff Road Project (TCRP), the meal programme began when a group of TWC2 volunteers realised there were huge...

Life and happiness for some, downward spiral for Alam

By Sun Hanchen, based on an interview in March 2018 Money is not important, they say. Chase your own happiness, they say. Live for yourself, for life is meant to be enjoyed. As a middle class, soon-to-be-university educated, Chinese (read: majority) person, I often hear this advice from my more carefree friends – who are,...