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...

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...