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...

68% of construction workers work illegally long hours

Over two-thirds (68%) of foreign construction workers work so much overtime that their total monthly overtime hours would breach the legal maximum of 72 overtime hours a month. Of these, one in three (23%) worked twelve and a half hours or more in a single day — which also violates the legal daily maximum of 12...

Foreign workforce numbers 2012 – 2016

For easy reference in future, we carry below the statistics relating to employed expatriates/workers for the years 2012 to 2016, extracted from the Ministry of Manpower website on 24 Feb 2017. Equivalent data for the years 2007 to 2012 can be seen at this page. Percentage-wise, these are the figures: The next table shows quite...

One quarter of Labour Court salary orders unpaid

At the parliamentary sitting of 9 January 2017, Nominated Member of Parliament Kok Heng Leun posed a question to the Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say (pictured above). As published in the Hansard, Labour Court Orders on Employee Salary Non-payment Mr Kok Heng Leun asked the Minister for Manpower (a) how many complaints about salary non-payment...

Average recruitment cost hit $15,000 in 2015 for first-time Bangladeshi construction workers

After hearing anecdotal reports of ‘agent fees’ in the region of $17,000 or $18,000, Transient Workers Count Two carried out a pilot survey to determine if these were rare cases, or if recruitment costs have risen dramatically. An earlier research report published in 2012, Worse off for working? found that Bangladeshi workers needed to work...