Majority of Indonesian domestic workers in Singapore “did not get enough to eat”, says researcher

“The majority of respondents did not get enough to eat, regularly ate a limited variety of food, and often went to bed hungry in employers’ homes,” reported Charlene Mohammed in her research paper publicly available  at the University of Victoria website.  The researcher is with the university’s Department of Anthropology, and conducted her study in...

TWC2 submits proposals for improving Singapore’s Employment Act

The Singapore government invited submissions for proposed amendments to the Employment Act. TWC2 made a proposal centred on five areas which will benefit the most number of workers.  As our submission makes clear, TWC2’s proposed amendments are envisioned to support all employees in Singapore. Even if some of our ideas are of particular importance to...

Grappling with trafficking is like nailing jelly to a wall

Former president of TWC2, John Gee, was a panellist at a human trafficking forum at the National University of Singapore’s Stephen Riady Global Centre on Saturday 27 January 2018. In his talk, titled ‘Nailing jelly to the wall’, he drew attention to how terms and labels can be misconstrued, and responses can vary greatly. For...

A look back at job mobility policies 2011 – 2017

There has been a gradual liberalisation over the last few years allowing construction workers to transfer to new jobs. This paper takes stock of evolving government policy in this area. Transient Workers Count Too has argued for a long time that retaining workers with experience in Singapore will be good for our much-hoped-for improvement in productivity....

Victims of unpaid salaries have hard time getting transfer jobs

One of the more encouraging things that Transient Workers Count Too has noticed in the past few years is that now, nearly all victims of unpaid salary are given a chance by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to look for new jobs in Singapore without first having to return home. The significance of the above may be...

Asean consensus on migrant labour: gaps between reality and Singapore’s commitments

In November 2017, Asean heads of government signed an ‘Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’. The terms of the document were not binding, and every article within was made subject to national laws. Despite such inauspicious beginnings, Transient Workers Count Too has taken a microscope to the document....

MOM wrong to accuse us of ‘inaccurate’ and ‘untrue’ account

On 5 December 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) put up a note on their Facebook page accusing TWC2 of publishing an “inaccurate” account. This was in relation to the story we had posted on 12 October 2017 titled “Fraud committed using ministry letterhead“. We stand by our story. We consider MOM’s accusation against us...

Only 400 survived the fight for new jobs. Out of 100,000?

“As of Oct 2017,” said Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, in a written answer to a parliamentary question, “400 [Work Permit holders have] changed employers after completing their work permit terms.” He gave this reply on 6 November 2017. To assess the significance of this number, it is necessary to provide some background. Over...

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...

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...