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...

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...

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...

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”...

Research forum report, July 2017

By Regina Ng and Emily Sugerman TWC2’s July 2017 research forum focused on the impact of migration on children in Indonesian households as well as health meanings for foreign domestic workers. Migrating out of poverty? Khoo Choon Yen’s presentation focused on understanding reasons behind children of migrant parents choosing not to continue with (higher) education,...

Going cashless? Over half of work permit holders don’t have bank accounts

  In early August 2017, it was reported in various media that public transport will be going cashless by 2020. By 2020, commuters travelling on Singapore’s transport system will no longer need to use cash or top up stored-value cards to pay for rides, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TransitLink in a joint...

Straits Times reports on ‘gaps in Labour Court system’ and the plight of 5 Zach Engineering employees

Following the launch of TWC2’s research report yesterday (see Labour protection for the vulnerable: challenges and recommendations), the Straits Times carried two stories Friday (30 June 2017) almost filling up all of page B4.   The newspaper noted that our research study found “significant obstacles and uneven enforcement” that prevent migrant workers from getting justice,...

Labour protection for the vulnerable: challenges and recommendations

A new study released by Transient Workers Count Too on 29 June 2017 reveals challenges faced by low-wage migrant workers with unpaid salaries and workplace injuries in obtaining compensation and recourse. The study, conducted by researchers at the Singapore Management University (“SMU”) and Transient Workers Count Too (“TWC2”), reveals that significant numbers of workers face...

Bangladeshi bank charges 10% interest per month

Rakib and Kanak don’t know each other, but both come on the same day to Transient Workers Count Too with similar stories. The chief similarity was that they both had borrowed from Brac Bank whose branches and billboards can be seen all over Bangladesh. This bank is a major loan-maker to Bangladeshi men needing to...