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...

TWC2 supports disallowing reduction of salary from IPA

In the 9 July 2018 parliamentary sitting Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo floated the following idea: MOM is considering the possibility of disallowing downward salary revisions altogether. While this will provide workers with more certainty of their wage for the entire duration of their stay in Singapore, it could also lead to possible early termination...

“Justice for foreign workers benefits Singaporean workers too,” says TWC2 President

In a commentary piece carried on Channel NewsAsia on 21 June 2018, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress Patrick Tay wrote of the significance of a recent High Court judgement in favour of Bangladeshi worker Hasan Shofiqul — which had been earlier been reported prominently by the Straits Times (header pic). Patrick Tay...

MOM says Singapore’s workplace injury reporting criteria are “aligned to international practices”

Member of Parliament Louis Ng put in an oral question for oral answer on 19 February 2018, on the topic of injury reporting. Sam Tan, the Minister of State for Manpower replied on behalf of the minister. Nominated Member of Parliament K Thanaletchimi also contributed a supplementary question during the debate. See too TWC2’s comment...

Singapore needs to relook foreign labour, says Finance Minister

The inflow of foreign workers must remain “well-calibrated” to encourage firms to continue improving productivity, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. This was reported in Today newspaper on 18 April 2018.  “We need to maintain that calibration in order to send a very strong signal that productivity improvement is going to be key, and investing...

Employment Claims Tribunal handled 1,190 cases in first year of operations

Marking the first anniversary of the new system for salary disputes, the State Courts issued a media statement on 24 April 2018 providing some statistics about the cases they handled during the first twelve months. From 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT), a unit within the State Courts, saw...

MOM booklet sweeps forward, then stumbles

Arriving in our mailbox earlier this week was a new booklet published by the Ministry of Manpower, titled ‘6 Simple Steps to comply with Employment Laws’. This is indeed a good initiative; from here on, employers will have fewer excuses not to do things in accordance with the law. The six ‘simple steps’ featured in...

Greedy, unlicenced job brokers: one down, many more to go

In a promising development, the Ministry of Manpower has successfully prosecuted a Bangladeshi worker who acted as a job broker and who had pocketed some $30,900 in illicit profit. Roy Tapon Kumar pleaded guilty and was fined $30,000. This was reported in a Channel NewsAsia story (Link) and on  the Ministry of Manpower’s (“MOM”) website....

After ten years, Asean reaches ‘consensus’ on migrant labour rights

Asean heads of government put signatures to an ‘Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’ on 14 November 2017, at their recently concluded summit meeting in Manila. This document was ten years in the making, after Asean members first signalled their intention to arrive at an agreement of this...

Employer of ‘release’ workers sentenced to jail with caning

For the first time, a company director will be caned for offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Goh Eng Kiat, 33, was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining work passes for 30 foreign workers as construction labour. It was fraudulent because the company, Jasper Contractors, did not require them and did not have work...